While San Francisco likely did work out the former 2015 Pro Bowler, it was also reported that the team was looking at former Las Vegas Raiders defensive end and one-season teammate of Ansah with the Seahawks, Dion Jordan.
A pair of days later, it’s official: the 49ers have signed Jordan to a one-year deal, per the team’s website.
Compared to Ansah’s resume that features two 10+ sack seasons as well as a Pro Bowl season to his name, Jordan is a bit unproven, but has made his way through the NFL with time in Oakland, Seattle and with the Miami Dolphins.
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Dion Jordan’s Career
One area in which Jordan and Ansah are similar was the high expectations the pair had coming out of college, with Ansah attending Brigham Young University and Jordan making his name at Oregon.
With 14.5 sacks for the Ducks, Jordan was looked at a player who was already producing but with an even higher ceiling, which led to the Dolphins selecting Jordan two spots ahead of Ansah in the 2013 NFL Draft as the third-overall pick.
And while Ansah has also been hit or miss throughout his career, he boasts a much better track record in the NFL compared to Jordan.
Ansah boasts 50.5 career stats in the league, while Jordan has 10.5 to his name and his best season coming in 2017 with the Seahawks, where he garnered 4.5 sacks in his first season in Seattle.
Jordan has played two less seasons than Ansah, due to a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy in 2015, which led to another absence in 2016.
However, the Seahawks gave him a depth spot on his return, and in 17 total appearances with Seattle, he brought in 5.5 sacks as a rotational rusher, not a bad return.
His next stop with the Raiders saw him earn 2 sacks in 7 appearances, which is also not bad for a back-up pass rusher. It prompts the question:
Does Jordan have a brighter future ahead of him than Ansah?
Jordan’s Fit with the 49ers
Jordan has seven total career starts, and one wouldn’t expect him to earn any more during his time in Santa Clara, California.
However, after his mistake and missed seasons in 2015 and 2016, Jordan has come back ready to work and has been a useful player for both Las Vegas and Seattle.
Also, like Ansah, Jordan will likely be available for fairly cheap and will be on an incentive-laded deal, similar to what the 49ers were able to sign tight end Jordan Reed to.
Jordan is a true edge-rusher, so he won’t be like several members of San Francisco’s team that can slide inward or outward on the line, but that’s not really a requirement for what the 49ers are looking for.
Instead, Jordan needs to be able to get defensive end Nick Bosa the occasional breather and produce on plays outside of the classic third-and-long buffet that many pass-rushers look for.
If he can do that, the 49ers will look fairly shrewd and Jordan may end up staying longer in Santa Clara, California.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, Mont. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.