The tight end position is one of duality. There are blocking tight ends that offer little in the receiving game. On the other side, there are mismatch weapons that can shred the defense but cannot block at a high level. So, when scouting tight ends, unique traits need to stick out. One way some tight ends do that is through YAC ability. Miami’s Brevin Jordan wears his YAC ability on his sleeve every game he plays. NFL teams will take notice of it, and it gives Jordan an appeal and upside he would not have otherwise.
Brevin Jordan’s wide array of YAC traits
There is a spectrum of traits that contribute to a remarkable ability to win after the catch, but for a tight end, the size and athleticism combination makes it unique. Jordan’s freakiness in this regard gives him a leg up on the competition from someone like Pat Freiermuth.
One thing that is impressive about what Jordan has for a tight end is open field vision. Tight end screens and throws to the flat are common with Jordan because he has the ball carrier vision to manipulate defenders in space and read his blockers correctly. I draw the comparison to Jonnu Smith, as this is something he does well, too.
This is how you hit the house call when you are an athletic freak like Jordan. Here against Virginia, Jordan does a great job reading the pursuit angle and leverage of his blockers and cuts this back inside after seeing the linebacker get pushed outside. Even with a defender pursuing the backside, Jordan is cognizant enough to cut this up vertically and use his explosiveness before stemming the run back inside. This is an example of excellent mental processing.
The most impressive thing about Jordan may be his overall quickness and shiftiness for a guy with such a thick lower frame. A lot of guys can absorb hits and break tackles, just like Jordan does at a high level, but few can shake guys out of their cleats in the way Jordan can. Jordan’s light on his feet and naturally loose in his hips and ankles, creating those smooth lateral movements. In a way, that unlocks a lot of his potential after the catch.
Jordan’s athleticism makes a difference in the open field
This was the play of the night on Saturday against Louisville. Jordan’s otherworldly athletic traits made sure to show themselves in a big way as he hurdled over a Lousiville defender on his way to a near touchdown. For someone so big, Jordan’s explosiveness off of one simple sharp jab into the ground is rare. You do not see guys with that type of ability to hit the gas and accelerate at this size.
When he is working out into the flats in the open field, Jordan’s speed is something that has to be monitored as well. It is not just that he accelerates so fast, but he can hit top speed in a split second. Jordan has some rare athletic traits that give him a home run ability only a few tight ends have in the NFL. His YAC game is very similar to that of Jonnu Smith, given his athleticism in the open field. I keep tossing around that comparison, but at least in this aspect of his game, Jordan fits the bill.
Jordan’s YAC value at the next level
Jordan’s overall skill set is fun, but it is this singular trait that makes him a first-round tight end prospect. At the very least, Jordan should not make it out of the Top-50 under any circumstances. He has more than enough well-rounded traits; and causing defenses to prepare for a tight end that will destroy linebackers, slot cornerbacks, and safeties not just in coverage, but after the catch, is a great weapon to have.
When properly slotted in game plans for today’s offenses, tight ends can be successful even against some of the best defenses in the NFL. Brevin Jordan’s YAC value gives him the flexibility to be implemented into the offensive gameplan in more than one way. When projecting him to the NFL, that means early playing time and a lot of manufactured touches. Given his traits, Jordan has a chance to be more productive early on than one would expect, especially given the learning curve tight ends face.