The defensive end class is said to be the deepest and most talented in decades this year with as many as eight expected to come off the board in round one. Two of those prospects were at One Bills Drive visiting with Buffalo’s coaching staff Tuesday.
Cal’s Cameron Jordan and North Carolina’s Robert Quinn were both at the Bills facility in Orchard Park.
Buffalo’s coaching staff has some familiarity with Jordan having been around him during the week of the Senior Bowl. Jordan had a dominant week in practice as he was widely considered one of the top performers in attendance. He played for the North Team, which was coached by Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis.
At 6’4” and 287 pounds, Jordan has the strength and power to be a true 3-4 defensive end. He also has enough athleticism to play end in a 4-3, where most talent evaluators see him as a left defensive end. His ability to be scheme diverse along with a proven record of performance will likely make him a mid-first round pick.
“My motto is draft me, and I’ll play anywhere,” he said. “I don’t care where I play. I just want to be on a team. I want to play football and that’s what I love doing. So that’s what I hope to continue doing.”
Jordan also has solid NFL bloodlines as his dad Steve Jordan played tight end in the league for 13 years. He’s had previous visits with Carolina and Detroit. He reportedly has more pre-draft visits scheduled with Atlanta, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Tampa Bay.
Meanwhile Quinn is a prospect Buffalo’s scouting department had just recently seen up close and personal. Bills GM Buddy Nix and team scouts had just witnessed Quinn’s pro day in Chapel Hill last Thursday. Pre-draft performance has been of paramount importance for Quinn after missing his entire 2010 season due to an NCAA suspension for accepting illegal benefits.
“I made a selfish mistake and I paid the price for it,” he said. “Me and my team and my family and coaches all paid a price for it. I truly apologized for it.”
Quinn’s career blossomed in 2009 when as a sophomore he led the ACC in tackles for loss with 19 and finished second in the ACC in sacks with 11. He also had six forced fumbles.
Being a year removed from football gave some NFL scouts pause, but his ability to come off the edge as a pass rusher is undeniable. After his solid pro day workout in which he was clocked with a 4.59 40 time, had a vertical leap of 33 inches, a broad jump of 10’6” and 24 reps on the bench at 6’4” 265 pounds he solidified his stock as a top 10 talent.
“My strength, I feel like I've got a never-ending motor,” he said. “I feel like I'm the fastest guy on the field and I try not to let anybody's hands get on me.”
Other UNC product visits
In addition to Quinn, Buffalo hosted linebacker Quan Sturdivant at One Bills Drive Tuesday as well. Sturdivant was profiled in our Countdown to Draft Day Inside Linebackers preview.
Bills GM Buddy Nix and his scouting staff got a good look at him at the North Carolina pro day last week.