Road to the NFL: Jordan Ta’amu Draft Profile
Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu made his mark in Oxford and is now looking toward an NFL future.
OXFORD, Miss. — At Pearl City High School in Hawaii, quarterback Jordan Taalolo Ta’amu-Perifanos had an outstanding career, throwing for 1,779 yards and 29 touchdowns his senior year. Although he did not have any Division I offers out of high school, Jordan did not let that stop him from achieving his dream of playing collegiate ball–and he is now well on the road to reaching his next goal, professional football.
After high school, Jordan left Hawaii and found his way to Roswell, New Mexico where he was awarded a full scholarship to attend the New Mexico Military Institute. As a sophomore there, Jordan threw for 3,014 yards and 32 TDs and also rushed for 328 yards and 7 scores.
Out of junior college, Ta’amu was rated as a 3-star prospect by Scout and ESPN, while being recognized as the No. 4 JUCO dual-threat quarterback in the nation by ESPN. Fortunately for Rebel fans, he found his way to Ole Miss and made the very most of his time in the red and blue.
Jordan spent the early part of 2017 as a backup to Shea Patterson, but when Patterson went down with an injury, Ta’amu did what he always does—take advantage of the opportunity presented before him. He started the final five games that season with a completion rate of 66.5%, en route to an outstanding junior campaign where he tallied 1,682 yards with 11 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions.
In that breakout 2017 season, Jordan also accomplished something else quite special. He passed for 247 yards and two touchdowns to beat Mississippi State and bring the Golden Egg back to Oxford.
Ta’amu ultimately started 17 games in his career with the Rebels. In 2018, he continued to post impressive stats. In his senior season, he threw for 3,918 yards, which now ranks him second all-time in single season yardage.
He also broke the single-season school record for yards per attempt (9.37), 300-yard passing games (9), and 400-yard passing games (3). In his final season as a Rebel, Jordan also finished second all-time in yards per completion (14.7) and passing efficiency (153.54). He led the SEC in both passing yards per game and total offense.
Ole Miss career highlights
Jordan’s career highlights in Oxford include:
- Ranked 1st in 400-yard passing games (4)
- Tied for 1st (with Chad Kelly) for most 300-yard games (12)
- Ranked 6th all-time with 5,600 career passing yards
- Ranked 9th in school history with 30 touchdowns
Career Awards and Recognition
- CFPA Co-National Player of the Week
- Manning Award Star of the Week,
- CFPA Honorable Mention National Performer of the Week
- SEC Offensive Player of the Week
- Pro Football Focus SEC Team of the Week
- 2019 NFL Combine Invitee
- 2018 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Watch List
The 6-foot-2, 222-pound quarterback shined in his time on the field for the Rebs. In throwing to future NFL players D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, DaMarkus Lodge and Dawson Knox, Ta’amu proved his downfield accuracy with the deep ball that has many NFL teams intrigued to see what this quarterback can do at the next level.
At the Combine
At the NFL Combine, Ta’amu ran a 4.77 40 yard dash, posted a 27.5-inch vertical, and ran a 4.36 20-yard shuttle.
Mike Detillier is widely recognized as the one of the top NFL Draft analysts in the nation, annually producing “Mike Detillier’s Draft Report.” says Jordan is a very good athlete who is an excellent deep-ball passer.
“Ta’amu moves around the pocket well and he makes good decisions and throws on the run. He sets up well and has good passing mechanics.Ta’amu has good running skills and he can make plays with his feet and foot speed. He is a mechanically sound quarterback with good passing skills and mobility, and in the right offense he could eventually push for a starting spot in the NFL.“
Mike Detillier on Jordan Ta’amu
Detillier also comments on Ta’amu as a field general. “Jordan is a very good leader, and the team responds well to him on the field,” Detillier said. “Coaches with the Rebels praise his attention to detail and willingness to work as long and as hard as he can to better his skills,” Detillier adds.
Where will Ta’amu go in the Draft?
Draft Analyst Jon Ledyard tabs Jordan Ta’amu as a sleeper pick to come off the board in the third day of the NFL draft, and he expects the Ole Miss QB to make an NFL roster and one day achieve real playing time.
“Jordan Ta’amu was easily the best draft-eligible quarterback in the SEC throughout most of the year,” Ledyard says.
“He throws a gorgeous ball to all levels of the field, and is consistently accurate from a clean platform. Sound mechanics lead to an accurate ball whether he drives it to a spot with velocity or throws with touch over the top.”
Jon Ledyard on Jordan Ta’amu
“I’m a big fan of Jordan,” Detillier told The Rebel Walk. “From a draft standpoint, he’s a developmental player and projected to be a 5th-6th round pick. He is a real student of the game and he has the ‘it’ factor as a player.”
Next Thursday, Ta’amu will be back home in Hawaii with his family to watch the NFL draft. There, he will await his fate and learn where he will continue his football career. It has been a blessing to cover Jordan’s career as an Ole Miss Rebel, and we wish him the best of luck in the future.
Ross is a junior at the University of Mississippi and is majoring in Accounting and minoring in Finance. The Pontotoc, Mississippi native is a passionate New York Giants and Ole Miss sports fan who is excited about covering Rebel athletics.