Poyer playing for the Cleveland Browns in 2016
|No. 21 – Buffalo Bills|
April 25, 1991|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||191 lb (87 kg)|
|High school:||Astoria (OR)|
|NFL Draft:||2013 / Round: 7 / Pick: 218|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2017|
Jordan Poyer (born April 25, 1991) is an American football free safety for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2013 NFL Draft and played college football for Oregon State University. Poyer was named a consensus All-American and previously played for the Cleveland Browns. While a senior in high school, he was selected by the Florida Marlins in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft.
High school career
Poyer played baseball, basketball, and football at Astoria High School. As a freshman, he helped the baseball team win the state championship. As a senior, he was named Oregon's player of the year and was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 42nd round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. In 2009, Poyer was named the basketball Cowapa League Player of the Year. He was a quarterback and safety on the football team and had 123 touchdowns in three years. In his senior season, he was the state's player of the year on offense and defense.
Poyer attended Oregon State University and played for the Oregon State Beavers football team from 2009 to 2012. As a true freshman in 2009, he played in 13 games and had 11 tackles. The following season, he had 1,109 all-purpose yards and 34 tackles at the cornerback position.
Poyer started 12 games in 2011. He was the team's primary punt returner and averaged 14.1 yards per return. His four interceptions ranked first in the Pac-12, and he also had 57 tackles. In 2012, Poyer had 51 tackles. He again led the Pac-12 in interceptions, with seven. That season, he was named to the All-Pac-12 first team and was also a consensus All-American.
|Jordan Poyer's NFL Combine Workout|
|Jordan Poyer's 40-yard dash|
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 0 in
|31 3⁄4 in
|9 3⁄4 in
|4.54 s||1.51 s||2.59 s||4.18 s||6.87 s||30 1⁄2 in
|9 ft 10 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
|Titans draft Jordan Poyer 218th overall|
Throughout training camp, he competed for a roster spot as a backup cornerback against Brandon Boykin, Curtis Marsh Jr., Trevard Lindley, and Brandon Hughes. Head coach Chip Kelly named Poyer the fourth cornerback on the depth chart, behind Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher, and Brandon Boykin.
He made his professional regular season debut in the Philadelphia Eagles' season-opener at the Washington Redskins and recorded three combined tackles in their 33–27 victory. He made his first career tackle with teammate Nate Allen on tight end Fred Davis after Davis caught a ten-yard pass in the third quarter. Poyer was relegated to special teams after he was surpassed on the depth chart by Shaun Prater and Roc Carmichael. On October 19, 2013, the Philadelphia Eagles released Poyer after he was a healthy scratch in their last two games (Weeks 5–6).
On October 21, 2013, the Cleveland Browns claimed Poyer off of waivers. Upon arrival, head coach Rob Chudzinski named Poyer the backup strong safety behind T. J. Ward after Josh Aubrey was placed on injured reserve due to injuries to his ankle and knee.
On December 8, 2013, Poyer recorded a season-high six solo tackles during a 27–26 loss at the New England Patriots in Week 14. On December 30, 2013, the Cleveland Browns fired head coach Rob Chudzinski after they finished with a 4-12 record. He finished his rookie season with 21 combined tackles (20 solo) in 12 games and zero starts. He also served as a backup punt returner, returning eight punts for 114-yards.
During training camp, he competed for a roster spot as a backup safety against Jim Leonhard, Johnson Bademosi, Josh Aubrey, Robert Nelson, and Darwin Cook. Head coach Mike Pettine named Poyer the backup free safety, behind Tashaun Gipson, to start the regular season.
On September 14, 2014, Poyer forced a fumble by running back Khiry Robinson during a 30-yard kickoff return by Robinson as time expired during a 26–24 victory against the New Orleans Saints in Week 2. It marked his the first forced fumble of Poyer's career. On December 14, 2014, Poyer recorded a season-high four combined tackles in the Browns' 30–0 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 15. In Week 17, he made a season-high three solo tackles and assisted on a tackle during a 20–10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. He finished the season with 21 combined tackles (15 solo) in 16 games and zero starts.
Poyer returned as the backup free safety behind Tashaun Gipson to begin the regular season in 2015. On October 18, 2015, Poyer earned his first career start in place of Gipson, who suffered a ankle injury the previous week. He recorded three solo tackles, as the Browns lost 26–23 to the Denver Broncos. The following week, he made his second consecutive start and collected a season-high 11 combined tackles (five solo) during a 24–6 loss at the St. Louis Rams in Week 7. He was inactive for two games (Weeks 8–9) after sustaining a shoulder injury. On November 15, 2015, Poyer recorded four combined tackles, broke up a pass, and made his first career interception by Ben Roethlisberger during a 30–9 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10. In Week 14, he recorded two solo tackles and made his first career sack on quarterback Blaine Gabbert during a 24–10 victory against the San Francisco 49ers. On January 3, 2016, Poyer made his fourth career start and made four combined tackles, a season-high two pass deflections, and intercepted Ben Roethlisberger during a 28–12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Following the game, head coach Mike Pettine was officially relieved of his duties by general manager Ray Farmer after the Cleveland Browns finished the season with a 3–13 record. He finished the 2015 season with 43 combined tackles (28 solo), four pass deflections, two interceptions, and a sack in 14 games and four starts.
Throughout training camp, Poyer competed against Rahim Moore for the job as the starting free safety after Tashaun Gipson departed in free agency. Head coach Hue Jackson named Poyer the starting free safety to start the regular season, alongside Ibraheim Campbell.
He started the Cleveland Browns' season-opener at the Philadelphia Eagles and made six solo tackles in their 29–10 loss. On September 25, 2016, Poyer collected a career-high 13 combined tackles (ten solo) and deflected a pass during a 30–24 loss at the Miami Dolphins in Week 3. On October 16, 2016, Poyer collected three solo tackles before exiting the Browns' 28–26 loss at the Tennessee Titans due to an injury. During the second quarter, Poyer was in the midst of covering a punt when he was hit by an illegal blindside block by running back Antonio Andrews. The Titans were penalized 15-yards for unnecessary roughness and Poyer was immediately rushed to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a lacerated kidney and a possible concussion. Andrews received criticism among players and the media due to his decision to glorify the hit by posting the video of it to his social media account. On October 18, 2016, the Cleveland Browns placed Poyer on injured reserve and he was expected to take up to four months to recover. He finished the 2016 season with 39 combined tackles (29 solo) and two pass deflections in six games and six starts. He finished ranked 69th among qualifying safeties in overall grades given by Pro Football Focus.
On March 9, 2017, the Buffalo Bills signed Poyer to a four-year, $13 million contract that includes $7.40 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $3.50 million. He immediately signed with the Bills on the first day of free agency and was reunited with the Cleveland Browns' former assistant defensive backs coach, Bobby Babich. Babich originally met Poyer while running defensive back field drills at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.
Head coach Sean McDermott named Poyer the starting free safety to start the regular season, along with strong safety Micah Hyde. He started in the Buffalo Bills' season-opener against the New York Jets and recorded three combined tackles, two pass deflections, a sack, and intercepted a pass by Josh McCown in their 21–12 victory. The following week, he collected a season-high 11 combined tackles (seven solo) and three pass deflections during a 9–3 loss at the Carolina Panthers in Week 2. He was inactive for the Bills' Week 8 victory against the Oakland Raiders due to a knee injury. In Week 11, Poyer recorded a season-high eight solo tackles, three assisted tackles, and deflected a pass in the Bills' 54–24 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers. On December 24, 2017, Poyer recorded six combined tackles, broke up a pass, an interception, and a touchdown during a 37–16 loss at the New England Patriots in Week 16. He intercepted a pass by Tom Brady that was intended for Kenny Britt and returned it for a 19-yard touchdown in the second quarter to mark the first score of his career. He finished his first season with the Buffalo Bills with a 94 combined tackles (63 solo), 13 pass deflections, five interceptions, two sacks, and a touchdown in 15 games and 15 starts. He had a career-high in all five stat categories. Pro Football Focus gave Poyer an overall grade of 87.6, which was ranked the ninth highest grade among all qualifying safeties in 2017.
The Buffalo Bills finished second in the AFC East with a 9–7 record. On January 7, 2018, Poyer started in his first career playoff game and recorded five combined tackles during a 10–3 loss at the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Poyer was raised in Dallas, Oregon by his mother, Julie Poyer, and stepfather, Faalaeo Poyer. He majored in elementary education at Oregon State. Poyer has a brother named Jeremy and has never met his biological father. His biological father, Louis Dunbar, has had multiple stints in prison over the last twenty years. His mother and stepfather both attended Eastern New Mexico University. His mother transferred to Eastern New Mexico for volleyball and his stepfather played tight end for their football team. Poyer's grandfather, Lynn Baxter, played basketball for Oregon State.
On December 30, 2016, Poyer and his girlfriend, Rachel Bush, had a baby girl they named Aliyah. Bush is an instagram model and met Poyer through Twitter. They began dating in 2015 and were married on February 17, 2018, in a ceremony in Jamaica.
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