A player who has seen his 2024 NFL Draft stock shoot up this season is Louisville running back Jawhar Jordan. So far this season he has rushed for 881 yards and has had five games with over 100 rushing yards. This includes a career-high against Duke two weeks ago and he also picked up 143 yards against Notre Dame. These games highlight the fact that he can produce against the top talent he faces, and comes up big when his team needs him the most.
This type of production was not expected from Jawhar Jordan when he was rated as a three-star prospect coming out of high school and signed with Syracuse. He spent his first two years with the Orangeman and put up very average numbers never rushing for more than 40 yards in a game. He also battled a season-ending lower leg injury in 2020, that limited him to just three games that season.
After the 2020 season, Jordan decided to enter the transfer portal and transferred to Louisville. His first year with the Cardinals he didn’t make much of an impact only rushing the ball 15 times for 105 yards and catching just one pass. However, he did show the ability to be one of the better return men in college football averaging 36.6 yards on five kick returns one of which he returned for a 100-yard touchdown.
He made a much bigger impact in 2022 though leading the team in rushing with 815 yards. He also made an impact on special teams again averaging 23.5 yards per kickoff return. The best part of his season was at the end of the year when he rushed for over 100 yards in four of the team’s last five games of the year.
The impact he made in 2022 allowed him to enter the 2023 season with a priority free agent grade, but this year his elite production has allowed him to earn a day three draft grade. Along with his impressive games against Duke and Notre Dame he also rushed he also rushed for 134 yards and had a 75-yard reception against Boston College. He also went over the 130-yard mark against Murray State who he averaged an amazing 19.3 yards per carry against.
Why Jawhar Jordan is an NFL Draft prospect to watch
When looking at how Jawhar Jordan translates to the NFL the first positive that sticks out is how explosive he is. He has broken off numerous long runs this year due to his ability to burst through the line of scrimmage and outrun defenders in the open field. In addition to his speed, he also shows good agility in the open field and can evade defenders easily.
To go along with his playmaking ability as a running back, he also should be able to lock down a job as a starting kick returner in the NFL. During his time at Louisville, he has averaged 28.5 yards on 21 kick returns and has taken two of these kickoffs back for touchdowns. His speed, vision, and elusiveness should allow him to make an impact at this spot from day one.
One of the biggest concerns with Jordan’s game and one that will likely him to go on the third day of the NFL Draft is his lack of power. He measures in at 185 pounds which will make him one of the smaller backs in the class. He also lacks the natural strength to even break arm tackles consistently. This lack of power may limit him to being an outside runner in the NFL, or a change of pace back.
Another concern with him is that he is not used in the passing game very often. Last season he only had 10 catches on the year, and so far this season he has only 12 receptions. The fact he has been used as a kick returner may help ease scouts' concerns about his hands, but they will still have lingering questions about his route-running technique. Another issue that may arise for him in the passing game is whether he can hold up as a blocker in pass protection due to his small frame.
Overall, I grade Jordan as a fifth round pick. I love his ability to make plays with the ball in his hands and think he could be an ideal fit for a team like Kansas City. However, his lack of power makes me question if he will be a back who only sees around five or six touches a game.