This post is part of a continuing series in which we break down 13 2011 NFL Draft prospects - our Baker's Dozen - that should interest the Buffalo Bills. Keep up to date on our Baker's Dozen series here.
The Buffalo Bills transitioned to a 3-4 defense in 2010. The lack of personnel to fit the scheme forced Chan Gailey and defensive coordinator George Edwards to play more 4-3 defense as the year wore on. While GM Buddy Nix will continue to draft personnel for the 3-4 defense, Gailey has said that the team will run a multiple front defense. The hiring of Dave Wannstedt, historically a 4-3 coach, reinforces the point. I expect Buffalo to run three to four variations of their defense. Here's how California defensive end Cameron Jordan would fit in.
This is the base 3-4 defense employed by members of the Bill Parcells coaching tree. This defense is very stout when the three defensive linemen are capable of playing two-gap assignments, but is vulnerable to two-tight end offenses.
3-4 Over (also known as the 4-3 Over)
This defense is effective at penetrating and disrupting the offense, but can be run against effectively by teams that can rush with power.
This is a difficult defense to play against when run effectively, as seen in New York and Philadelphia. Effective West Coast or possession-passing teams that can protect the quarterback can beat this defense.
Cameron Jordan at defensive end in the Bullough-Fairbanks 3-4 Defense
Jordan is an easy and natural fit into Buffalo's defense. In Buffalo's base 3-4 defense, Jordan would play as a five-technique end. Jordan's game is ideal for that position. He has the anchor strength and strong hands to take on the tackle, and his technique is very good for a collegiate end. His burst is good enough for the position, and he's fluid enough to present a threat to the quarterback. Where Nick Fairley and Da'Quan Bowers are changing positions to fit into Buffalo's scheme, Jordan played the five-technique at California and is well-versed in playing a two-gap assignement.
Jordan at defensive end in a 30 Over Front
While the Bullough-Fairbanks 30 front would become the Bills' base defense, the 30 Over becomes a variation to throw at offenses out of the same formation. This defense is similar to the defense that Dallas played under Wade Phillips. Jordan is easily versitile enough to play this scheme, and is familiar with one-gap assignments. While Jordan isn't the explosive athlete Bowers is, he's talented enough to play in this defense, and play well.
Jordan in the 46 Defense
Jordan's versitility would come in handy playing this defense. George Edwards could slide Dwan Edwards to tackle, Kyle Williams shifts from the nose to over the guard, and an outside linebacker puts his hand on the ground, shifting to this defense out of either version of the 3-4. Jordan could eventually develop into a mismatch for the right tackle, where he's lined up outside the tackle and using power and speed to rush.
Jordan, along with Marcell Dareus, is a great fit schematically for Buffalo's defense. Like Dareus, he's versed in plating in the 3-4, and can shade outside in the 4-3 looks. While not spectacular, Jordan is strong, dependable, and nasty. He's exactly the type of violent and high motor player that can do the dirty work in the trenches, giving blockers all they can handle every down.
While he is a bit of a reach at the third overall pick, if Buffalo receives a trade offer that Buddy Nix takes, Jordan is exactly the type of player that Buffalo covets and needs.