The 2020 NFL Draft is chock full of question marks at the tight end position, with a severe lack of true difference-makers for the next level. However, the 2021 NFL Draft looks to have one of the best collections of tight end prospects in recent years. The headliner of this talented group is University of Miami tight end, Brevin Jordan.
Below, I will take a look at Jordan’s rise to the top of this draft class and the journey he has traveled to get there. Along with Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth, he has a chance to revolutionize the position in the NFL. I will break down his most significant strengths and focus on the teams that could be the best fit for him in the NFL. He is a truly unique and explosive prospect who can be an impactful player in the NFL following the 2021 NFL Draft.
The making of Miami’s tight end Brevin Jordan
Jordan was an electric high school player and four-star prospect from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Nevada. As the top tight end prospect in the country, Jordan posted some gaudy numbers during his senior year. He finished his final prep season with 63 catches for 1,111 yards and 13 touchdowns. Those totals would have been significant for a wide receiver, but seem even more extraordinary for a high school tight end.
Upon committing to Miami before the 2018 season, Jordan was met with sky-high expectations after being named a starter for his true freshman campaign. Early on, it was clear that those expectations were warranted, as he racked up 32 catches and four receiving touchdowns in 11 starts for the Hurricanes. He was a second-team All-ACC selection in 2018 and one of the better young tight ends in all of college football.
Jordan was even better in 2019 as a sophomore, posting 35 catches for 495 yards on an eye-opening 14 yards per catch. He was a consistent big-play option for Miami’s young quarterback in an offense that already featured speedsters like 2020 NFL Draft hopeful Jeff Thomas and junior Mike Harley. Once again, it was apparent who the alpha-dog was in this Miami offense and that was Jordan.
For his sophomore year contributions, Jordan was selected to the All-ACC First Team and was also a Mackey Award finalist. That award eventually went to Florida Atlantic’s Harrison Bryant, leaving Jordan as the heavy favorite going into the 2020 season. The young tight end looked like an all but guarantee for the top award before a late-season injury. However, Jordan missed the final four games after injuring his foot in a win against Florida State. A healthy Jordan will be a massive boost for new transfer quarterback D’Eriq King and the Hurricanes offense in 2020.
The next great Canes tight end
Miami has been appropriately nicknamed “Tight End U” for the last couple of decades due to its long line of successful college tight ends that have turned into productive NFL players. That list includes players such as Kellen Winslow Jr., Kevin Everett, Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham, David Njoku, Jeremy Shockey, and Bubba Franks. The team has also produced some other draft picks currently in the NFL, like Christopher Herndon and Clive Walford.
The Hurricanes have also produced the most draft picks at the position since 2000 with 12 total. That number should grow in 2021 following the potential declaration of Jordan. The seam-stretching, red-zone mismatch looks like a likely first-rounder and could very well be the top player selected at the position. He will team up with fellow junior Will Mallory to form one of the better tight end duos in the nation in 2020.
Changing the game from the TE position
Jordan has the unique ability and opportunity to change the outlook of NFL offenses and the way they approach their game plans on a week-to-week basis. He is a perfect fit for the new NFL and the way that teams want to use their tight ends and receivers. In this new era of fast-paced Spread, West Coast, and Air Raid offensive schemes, Jordan will be a scorching commodity come draft time. Teams that could be particularly interested in Jordan are the New Orland Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals.
These teams seem like the best fits schematically due to their constant up-tempo nature and emphasis on speed. I expect Jordan to run very well at the NFL Combine before the 2021 NFL Draft and showcase his tremendous all-around athleticism. He will be a matchup problem for most NFL defenses with his ability to beat the jam and be physical against corners and safeties, as well as use his speed to run past linebackers and edge players. Watch below as Jordan fights through coverage from the linebacker and goes up to make the tremendous end zone grab.
— Greg Brandt (@devywarehouse) September 22, 2018
Another vital aspect to consider when evaluating Jordan and his potential at the next level is the different ways in which teams use tight ends nowadays. For instance, the Saints have used players like Jared Cook and Jimmy Graham out of the slot in recent years. These players are classified as tight ends but see usage mostly in a jumbo-receiver role out of the slot. Other teams are more inclined to use tight ends as H-backs or “move” tight ends and use them in different spots in their offensive formations to take advantage of mismatches on the defensive side.
With Jordan’s size, speed, and athletic ability, he would be a great fit in any of these roles. He has incredibly soft hands, excellent leaping ability, and has that alpha-type mentality. He believes that when the ball is in the air, it belongs to him and him only. When Miami needed a big play this past season, Jordan was the guy they counted on in numerous nail-biting situations. He is a guy that can be trusted in the clutch and is a natural-born leader on any football team.
Jordan’s NFL comparison and future
In addition to Jordan’s superior receiving skills, he is also a solid blocker from the tight end position. He is a strong player that can block defenders in-line and puts in the max effort on each play. He has worked to get better since his freshman season and is one of the better blockers in this class. Combine that with his tough running and tackle-breaking ability, and he is the best all-around player at the position for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Due to his size at 6’3″, 235 pounds, the first player comparison that comes to mind is the Giants’ young star, Evan Engram. PFN’s own Chris Spooner also mentioned Engram when discussing Jordan in his article about the top ACC prospects for the 2021 cycle. Upon entering the NFL out of Ole Miss, Engram projected as an elite receiving tight end with superior athletic ability to stretch the seams of the defense. Jordan compares favorably to Engram as a player that can make ridiculous catches consistently. However, I believe that the Miami pass-catcher is further along as a prospect due to his blocking ability. Take a look below at Jordan, squaring up with the defensive tackle to set up a big running play for Miami.
— 🙌🏽 (@Artjcreation) September 10, 2019
Jordan will have to compete with the likes of the previously mentioned Freiermuth and Florida’s Kyle Pitts in a stacked 2021 tight end class. However, Jordan carries the most upside of the group and has the look of a top-10 overall player on my big board for the 2021 NFL Draft. He is a sure-fire first-round pick and could hear his name drafted as early as the top-10. He is a better prospect at this point in his career than Lions’ tight end, and 2019 eighth-overall pick T.J. Hockensen was when he declared. Only time will tell if Jordan gets selected as high as the rookie from Detroit. Either way, there is no doubt that Jordan has a bright NFL future ahead of him.
Scott Gorman is a writer for PFN covering the 2021 NFL Draft. You can follow him @sgormanPFN on Twitter.