The latest Ohio State offensive lineman turned center — following in the footsteps of Taylor Decker, Pat Elflein and Billy Price — Michael Jordan started in all 41 games of his Buckeye career and was the first freshman to earn a start along the line since 1994.
He’s got great versatility, durability. and with some development during training camp, he could be a contributor in Year 1 of his NFL career.
Here are just a few reasons the Cincinnati Bengals should be excited they got the Buckeye with the No. 136th overall, Round 4 pick.
1. Versatility and durability along the line
Jordan initially lined up at left guard for the Buckeyes, but with a string of one-year centers, was the next man up in 2018. He’s got some development to do in that area, but being able to quickly fill in at different roles is increasingly important in the NFL.
He’s super explosive at the snap, and is a top-rater run blocker. He’s not a Day 1 starter, but is definitely a guy who adds depth to the line. Plus, he lined up for 41 consecutive games for the Buckeyes from 2016-2018, and that kind of reliability with offensive lineman is increasingly rare.
Jordan has a lot of confidence in his ability according to an interview with DraftWire this offseason.
“I can play any position they want me to, and I’ve done that at a high level for Ohio State. I played at one of the biggest programs in college football and I was very durable while playing multiple positions. I feel like I can play any position they want me to.”
Jordan joins the last Buckeye to move from guard to center to the NFL, Billy Price.
2. Lots of experience
Jordan was the first freshman starter on the offensive line since Orlando Pace 22 years prior. Urban Meyer had a lot of confidence in highly recruited player, and Jordan started all 13 games his first season in Columbus and earned All-American honors.
That experience means he also saw an often evolving offense with varying quarterback needs and skills between J.T. Barrett and Dwayne Haskins. Playing center under the latter forced him to improve in his pass protection, with Haskins being much more of a pocket passer than Barrett was.
He excelled at run-blocking as a left guard for Barrett — who ran the ball more than most college quarterbacks — and will have no problem with those skills translating to the next level.
3. He’s a big, well-proportioned guy
Jordan stands a 6-foot-6, 312 pounds, and boasts 34 1/4” arms and 10” hands. He’s got the wingspan and reach to stop defenders well before they get to his quarterback, and he will probably add quite a bit of muscle in his transition to the NFL.
He’s a little taller than your typical NFL center, but has a flexible lower body that allows him to play the position. One area he will need to improve on, is his hand placement and needs to work on his first-step and lateral movement, but those are all things that can be cleaned up early in camp.
4. His name...
I mean, his name is Michael Jordan. Ohio State had fun with that for three years, and the NFL will get at least a few good jokes out of it too. Heaven forbid he’s ever caught crying...