How former No. 1 TE prospect Brevin Jordan is using hype, failures as fuel for Houston Texans

Houston Texans tight end Brevin Jordan was the No. 1 tight end coming out of high school, and he's hoping to jump-start living up to that hype in Year 2 in the NFL. Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire

HOUSTON -- Whenever Houston Texans tight end Brevin Jordan looks at his phone, he sees eight names.

Kyle Pitts, Pat Freiermuth, Hunter Long, Tommy Tremble, Tre’ McKitty, John Bates, Kylen Granson and Luke Farrell.

That’s right, Jordan's screensaver includes the names of all the tight ends taken ahead of him in the 2021 NFL draft, in which he was selected at No. 147.

Jordan believes there’s no way he should have lasted until the fifth round. But his fall is the driving force for a potential breakout season for the former No. 1 high school tight end prospect -- a five-star recruit ranked 20th overall coming out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.

“It’s a different fire, dog, that you can't really explain,” Jordan said. “The disrespect, because ... actually I won't even say it was disrespect. I will say they were just a little asleep. That's why I'm so hungry to wake them up."

Jordan said he possesses the talent to become one of the best tight ends in the NFL.

“This year means more to me than any football season I've ever competed in,” Jordan said. “I want to show everybody that I can be a three-down tight end. I can block, I can run routes. I can block these dudes, and I can run past these guys.”

Through the first few weeks of Texans’ training camp, Jordan has made leaping catches over defenders for big gains and shown off his speed running past defenders for touchdowns. He’s also been a red zone target for second-year quarterback Davis Mills.

There’s been improvement after a rookie year Jordan called a “wake-up call.” He said the transition to the NFL was brutal after finishing with 20 catches for 178 yards and three touchdowns.

“My first day in pads last year, and I was just getting tossed around,” Jordan said. “I was like ‘I gotta get bigger, I gotta get stronger.’ It was a whole different game.”

Jordan spent the first seven games inactive as he adjusted to the NFL. But he worked on those issues as the season progressed.

And when Jordan got his first opportunity in Week 8 against the Los Angeles Rams, he flashed his talent, finishing with 41 yards receiving yards and a touchdown.

“I love what he did in Year 1 of being a young football player,” coach Lovie Smith said last week. “He's listed as a tight end, but he can play in line, he can move out. It's a tough matchup because he has big wide receiver skills. Just another weapon that we have to be able to use.”

Despite all of that, Jordan acknowledges he did not live up to the high school hype during his time with the Miami Hurricanes. Although his receiving yards increased yearly (287 in 2018, 495 in 2019 and 576 in 2020), he left some things on the table.

“Just me not being a pro in college. I'm coming in late, like 3, 4 o'clock in the morning, then going into meetings,” Jordan said. “Just not eating right, eating McDonald's in college.”

But falling in the draft still stings. Jordan had nearly 50 members of family and friends show up on Day 2 of the draft for the second and third rounds, the targeted rounds for Jordan.

TVs in the house and backyard broadcast the draft while a DJ played '90s R&B tunes and a taco truck served his guests.

They all waited for Jordan’s name to be called. But with each passing pick, the environment of excitement slowly morphed before crashing into disappointment as Jordan wasn’t selected.

The next day, there was no party.

But when Jordan was selected on Day 3, he was grateful for the moment -- and the fuel -- to jump-start his NFL dreams.