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It had to be a bit of a surprise that DE Cameron Jordan was available when the Saints picked at No. 24, but GM Mickey Loomis and head coach Sean Payton were not about to let him keep falling.
New Orleans filled its greatest need by taking Jordan — who was rated among the top defensive ends in the draft — and it also picked the best player available.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has to be excited by Jordan's potential as a disruptor up front. He's versatile. Jordan played end in a 3-4 system last season at California, but he can play inside or outside, and Williams can be creative with how he uses him. Jordan's game is built more on quickness than power and he could struggle if he allows a big offensive lineman to get his hands in on his pads.
Aside from DE Will Smith, the Saints didn't have a player they could count on to bring pressure off the edge. New Orleans registered one sack or less in seven games last season.
The team appears to have taken a step toward solving that problem on Thursday night by adding Jordan. He'll get a chance to take snaps away from Alex Brown at left end and joins a D-line that features Smith, DT Sedrick Ellis and DT Shaun Rogers. That's a front four that could be very imposing.
Nine defensive linemen were drafted before Jordan, a smart player with NFL pedigree, came off the board, and that could serve as motivation for him at the next level.