Cameron Jordan was expected to go much higher in the draft. No one expected him to be availible to the Saints when it came time for them to select at 24, but there he was so it was only natural they made him a Saint.
Jordan doesn’t seem like an immediate fit with the Saints, who run a 4-3 defense, as he played more as a 3-4 defensive end in college than a 4-3 end.
In his senior season he posted 62 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks earning him first-team All-Pac-10 accolades.
It’s a good stat line for a senior defensive end made all the better given the fact he played the five technique spot in a 3-4 defense.
A defensive end repsonsibilities in a 3-4 scheme differ in some ways to that of a 4-3 defensive end, as their primary responsibility it not necessarily to rush the passer but soak up blockers to allow the linebackers free run at the quarterback.
Jordan does fit with the Saints defense however as scouts did project him as a left defensive end in a 4-3 defense. That position currently belongs to Alex Brown.
Brown signed last year on the heels of his release by the Chicago Bears, where he played as a right defensive end his entire NFL career.
It was expected that he would provide an immediate boost in production at the position after the Saints release of Charles Grant.
Brown started all sixteen regular season games for the Saints last season but managed only 39 tackles and two sacks, Jordan would likely push for the starting role immediately.
Brown’s contract though is moderate, not blockbuster, leaving his chances to stay a member of the team very high.
It’s likely to be in a backup or co-starting role to Jordan, until he gets his legs underneath him, as it should take some time for him to adjust to the Saints 4-3 defense.
New Orleans almost assuredly will keep both Bush and Brown as they are both quality players that can still contribute. The only thing left to negotiate is Bush’s money and Brown’s acceptance of a backup role.