Dec 21, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) stands on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Falcons won 30-14. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Didn’t think you’d see a defensive player at the number two spot did you? Well if it had to be any defensive player in this spot; it can only be Cameron Jordan. Who else would have been more appropriate then the leader of the defense himself?
For the majority of his career, Jordan has played as a 5-Technique defensive end, which means that he has spent most of his career lining up on the inside shoulder of the tackle, forcing him to deal with both the tackle and the guard.
But because of injuries or roster changes (like the release of former “Jack” linebacker Junior Galette), Jordan at times has also played as the “Jack” end / outside linebacker (the 9-Technique) and even as a 3-Technique defensive TACKLE.
Jordan actually moved inside to the 3-Tech defensive tackle in pass-rushing situations during a Week #6 Thursday Night Football contest against the Falcons last season, which allowed fellow teammate Kasim Edebali to come off the edge in Jordan’s place – which then resulted in a huge pay off / big reward for the Saints.
Jordan collected 3 of the Saints’ season high 5 sacks, seven quarterback pressures, four quarterback hits and a strip-sack he recovered himself to “ice” that game against the Falcons and QB Matt “Matty Ice” Ryan.
It was that performance that solidified Jordan’s status as the Saints defense’s most valuable player, and a testament as to why the Saints consider him to be the “centerpiece” of the core to build their defensive unit around going forward.
Jordan has averaged 9.5 sacks per year in the last four years. In 2015, he had 10 sacks to go with 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, 5 passes defended, 1 blocked kick, and 45 total tackles. He was also elected to his second Pro Bowl last year, as well.
Jordan was ranked #99 in NFL Network’s Top 100 for 2016, and #33 in the previously-mentioned Pro Football Focus Top 101 Players of 2016, who said this about the now 6th year veteran All-Pro:
"Cameron Jordan’s career has produced highs and lows as he has moved around the New Orleans’ defense, but 2015 was his best season to date, even if it doesn’t quite match the statistical high of 2013. This past season, he notched 10 sacks, 70 total pressures, five batted passes, and strong grades in the run game on the edge for the Saints. But for a relatively quiet ending to the season, with three straight average games, he could have ranked even higher. Overall, though, Jordan demonstrated he can be a difference-maker in a major way. Best performance: Week 7 at Indianapolis: +9.2 Key stat: Jordan recorded 70 total pressures over the regular season and five batted passes when rushing the passer."
Of all the players on the Saints roster, perhaps none are more reliable than Jordan.
No one that is, with the exception of this next player…..
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