Son of former Vikings TE making his own way

Cameron Jordan didn't start football until just before high school, but the son of former Vikings tight end Steve Jordan has made quite a splash with his skills and personality. In fact, his draft value is considered near the Vikings' pick at No. 12. See what Jordan had to say about his playing style, his personality and advancing the family name.

Cameron Jordan brings quick wit and a quick step to his résumé as a football player.

As the son of former Vikings tight end Steve Jordan, Cameron Jordan also brings athletic bloodlines, background knowledge on the NFL and a first-round grade (draft day is only six weeks away).

Ironically, Jordan's value among draft analysts is also approaching the Vikings' No. 12 pick. While he is considered a defensive end better suited for the 3-4 scheme, but the Vikings and their 4-3 alignment might be in the market for a run-stopping base end if Ray Edwards becomes an unrestricted free agent and signs with another team.

But whether the Vikings consider Jordan or not, he should be a draft-day interest to Vikings fans because of his connection to the Purple's past. Steve, a six-time Pro Bowler, is largely considered the best tight end in Vikings history and has been dispensing advice to Cameron about the process of getting to the NFL.

"My dad explained a lot to me. He helped me out pretty much every step of the way. He sort of prepared me for this process," Cameron said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "He said it was more like a dash-and-wait. That's what it has been. You go places and you're 25th in line. I'm prepared for it."

Cameron said he would like to "advance" the family name, but he's already made a name for himself in the college ranks.

As a four-year starter in California's 3-4 defense, Jordan gained more attention as his experience and accolades piled up, but it didn't stop him from producing. Last year, he had career highs in tackles (62) and tackles-for-loss (12.5) and had 5.5 sacks, helping him earn All-Pac 10 honors and keeping his stock rising after being honorable mention the previous two seasons.

"I'm really explosive off the line. I'm great (at) lockout – and with lockout, I can control the man, shed and make plays in the backfield," Cameron said when asked about his strengths at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I think I'm pretty efficient at everything I do. If I had to choose one thing, technique within the pass rush."

Jordan said he looks up to 2009 first-round draft pick Tyson Alualu, another California product that gained the respect of his teammates and admiration of Jordan.

While Alualu is a quieter presence, Jordan isn't afraid to speak his mind – he keeps smiling and carries a big personality.

"If you know me, I'm a very competitive person. I don't lose. I'm going in with the mentality (at the Combine) that this is mine," Jordan said. "Everything I do, I'm going to win."

He measured in at 6-foot-4, 287 pounds and could play defensive end or slide inside to rush the passer. He was also asked to drop into coverage at his pro day. To his credit, he says he doesn't mind where he plays, he just wants to find a team in the NFL and continue on with his dream.

Jordan likes to joke around off the field, but he's far from a joker on the field.

"If you see my film, I'm hitting people. I'm laying people out," he said. "There's sort of a switch. I still got the smile on, but it's all for a different motive. It will be the biggest smile on me to hit a quarterback and hear the wind come out of his chest. That pleases me the most."

It wasn't always that way. First he wanted to be Allen Iverson, but when he went to more than 250 pounds, that dream faded. Then it was Kevin Garnett, but at 6-foot-4 that wasn't happening either.

Now, after his mother finally allowed him to start playing football in eighth grade, he finally says, "Football suits me." And it appears it will continue to suit him for years to come.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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