2021 NFL draft prospects: Miami TE Brevin Jordan

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Eric Edholm
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Eric Edholm's criteria for grading NFL draft prospects. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)
Eric Edholm's criteria for grading NFL draft prospects. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

Miami TE Brevin Jordan

6-foot-3, 245 pounds

Yahoo Sports draft grade: 5.80 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Young, ascending talent who can turn short catches into long gains, but he’s not yet a complete tight end

Games watched: Louisville (2020), Clemson (2020), Virginia Tech (2020), North Carolina (2020), Oklahoma State (2020)

The skinny: A 4-star Rivals recruit (No. 49 nationally), Jordan started 11 of 12 games he played as a true freshman, earning second-team all-ACC (coaches) in catching 32 passes for 287 yards and four scores. In 2019, Jordan started 10 games and caught 35 passes for 495 yards and two scores, earning a nomination for the Mackey Award (best tight end in college football) despite missing three games with injury. He also missed three more in 2020 with a shoulder injury but had his best statistical season with 38 catches, 576 yards and seven TDs in eight starts. Jordan then declared for the 2021 draft.

Upside: Athletically gifted. Displays sharp cutting ability in the open field and strong burst off the line — tough cover for linebackers and slower safeties. Added weight throughout his college career and didn’t appear to lose a step.

YAC king who turned a lot of short passes into longer gains — averaged 15.2 yards per catch in 2020 despite 27 of his 38 catches coming within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage (including 13 behind the line). Great acceleration after the catch and able to make the first man miss or power through him.

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Worked through contact well, especially in the middle of the field — took some whopper hits and kept churning for more yards. Fearless working the seam where safeties lurk. Broke several tackles throughout his career – underrated strength with the ball in his hands. Turns into a weapon with the ball in his strong hands. Wards off defenders with an effective stiff arm.

Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Miami Hurricanes tight end Brevin Jordan (9) carries the football against Duke Blue Devils safety Marquis Waters (0) in the first half at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Miami tight end Brevin Jordan (9) stiff-arms a Duke defender. (Nell Redmond/Pool Photo via AP)

Displayed better route subtlety, including a hesitation move at the top of his routes and sharper, quicker cuts. Has the potential to grow more in this area. Worked effectively with mobile QB D’Eriq King, displaying good recognition for scramble drills and freelancing to get open.

Still needs refinement as a blocker but doesn’t lack confidence, wanting to take on edge defenders in the run game. Lined up in-line, flexed into the slot, out wide and occasionally in the backfield.

Has some trick-play potential — completed his only pass last season for 15 yards and also threw a nice ball against Clemson that drew a pass-interference flag. Used a few times as a runner and could be tried on inside screens (think Urban Meyer’s offense at Florida or how the Chiefs use Travis Kelce).

Plenty of room to grow and develop — won’t turn 21 until July. Appeared more of a confident, complete player in 2020. Might just be hitting his athletic and mental peak.

Downside: Injuries have added up a bit — missed multiple games each of the past two seasons with shoulder (2020) and lower-body (2019) injuries. Rarely was healthy in college and it likely cost him a step or two.

Lacks ideal length and mass for the position — merely adequate NFL size. Built more like a bulked-up running back or a bulky receiver. Not as effective playing in-line and almost certainly to be featured more as an H-back/detached receiver.

Timed speed might be better than his play speed. Doesn’t always gain elite separation. Route running has improved but still needs to be streamlined and cleaned up. Some big chunks of his yardage down the seam appeared to come on coverage busts or miscommunications.

In-line blocking needs work. Effort is there, but effectiveness is hit or miss. Hand placement in pass protection gets sloppy. Looks unsure of assignments on occasion. Will burrow into defenders' chests and lose his leverage and balance. Doesn’t quite sustain long enough on blocks.

Somewhat reduced offensive usage — ran a lot of short stuff (drags, crossers, screens) and seam routes. Wasn’t asked to run every route on the tree. Not a true red-zone mismatch weapon – wasn’t targeted a ton the closer the Canes got to the end zone. Lacks the length and quick-separation skill to be a huge TD producer in tight quarters.

Still not the most natural catcher. Allows passes to get into his body and will double-catch some balls. Eight career drops on 149 targets. Wasn’t as effective in contested-catch situations. Needs to use his body better when shielding off defenders.

Best-suited destination: We mentioned Meyer above, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him want to give assumed No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence an outlet target in Jacksonville to steal some yards. We could see Jordan fitting in a lot of places, but the Jaguars are a team that makes sense for his ability.

Did you know: Brevin’s father, Darrell Jordan, was a linebacker out of Northern Arizona who was drafted in the ninth round (222nd overall) by the Atlanta Falcons in 1990, although he never played in a regular-season game.

The elder Jordan died in 2018 of a heart attack a few months before Brevin shipped off to Miami.

Player comp: Jordan is somewhere on the Gerald Everett-Evan Engram-Trey Burton spectrum.

Expected draft range: Rounds 2 or 3