NEW YORK CITY -- Former Cal defensive lineman Cameron Jordan was selected Thursday by the New Orleans Saints with the 24th pick overall in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Jordan is the 26th player in Cal history to be selected in the first round and eighth in the last nine drafts since head coach Jeff Tedford's arrival in 2002.
"I'm very proud of Cameron," said Tedford. "He had a great career at Cal. It's nice to see him take the next step and be another first-round pick for the Bears, which says a lot about our program. I'm really happy for him, and I know he's going to be successful at the next level."
The selections of Jordan and Tyson Alualu in 2010 as the 10th overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars mark the first time the Bears have had defensive linemen chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft in back-to-back seasons. Cal also becomes only Pac-10 school to have ever accomplished the feat, with USC having done it twice previously with the selections of Kenechi Udeze (No. 20) and Mike Patterson (No. 31) in 2004 and '05, and Al Cowlins (No. 5) and Jody Smith (No. 25) 1970 and '71.
Jordan played in 50 of 51 possible games and made 32 starts at Cal from 2007-10. He was an honorable mention All-American selection by Pro Football Weekly and a first-team All-Pac-10 choice for the first time as a senior in 2010 after two consecutive honorable mention All-Pac-10 campaigns in 2008 and 2009. Jordan finished his collegiate career with 175 tackles, while adding 34.0 tackles for loss (-122 yards) and 16.5 sacks (-89 yards) to rank just outside the school's all-time top 10 in each of the latter two categories.
Jordan started all 12 games as a 2010 senior for a unit that ranked first in the Pac-10 and No. 18 nationally in total defense (319.08 ypg). Jordan recorded career highs of 62 tackles (fifth on the club and first among defensive linemen, No. 40 Pac-10) and 12.5 tackles for loss (-47 yards) for a 1.04 per game average that was second on the squad and seventh in the Pac-10. He also had 5.5 sacks (-32 yards) that were second on the team and a half sack shy of the career-high 6.0 he recorded as a 2009 junior, with his 0.46 sacks per game average 11th in the Pac-10. Jordan also added a career-high and team-high-tying three forced fumbles for an average of 0.25 per game that ranked tied for fourth in the Pac-10. In his final collegiate game against Washington, he recorded his second career touchdown when he returned a fumble 21 yards for a score.
Following his 2010 senior season, he culminated an impressive week at the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl by making five tackles and recording 1.0 tackle for loss playing for the North squad in front of a sold out crowd of 40,646 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The 62nd version of the contest completed a week of activities showcasing college football's top seniors performing before more than 800 general managers, head coaches, assistant coaches, scouts and other front office personnel from all 32 National Football League teams.
His senior season followed a 2009 junior campaign in which he started all 13 games and ranked second behind Alualu among the team's defensive linemen with 48 tackles. He also ranked second overall on the squad also behind Alualu with his 9.5 tackles for loss (-41 yards) and a career-high 6.0 sacks (-35 yards). He was among the Pac-10's per-game leaders in sacks (No. 10-T, 0.46) and tackles for loss (No. 15-T, 0.73).
As a 2008 sophomore he took over a starting defensive end role in the fifth contest of the season and started the final seven regular-season games before coming off the bench in the team's Emerald Bowl victory over Miami, Fla. He completed the campaign with 47 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss (-29 yards) and 4.0 sacks (-17 yards), and was also among the Pac-10's leaders in fumble recoveries per game (No. 6-T, 0.17).
Jordan played in all 13 games off the bench during his true freshman season in 2007 and recorded 18 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss (-5 yards), 1.0 sack (-5 yards) and one fumble recovery that he returned 13 yards at Arizona State for the first of his two career touchdowns.