Dolphins G.M. Jeff Ireland, who has presided over one of the most active and intriguing offseasons in the NFL, joined PFT Live this past week for a wide-ranging discussion about the current state of the team.
Among other things, Ireland explained the surprising move from No. 12 to No. 3 in the first round of the draft, which allowed the Dolphins to get Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan before his former coach at Oregon, Chip Kelly, could get Jordan with the fourth overall pick. Somehow, the Dolphins managed to move up to the third pick by giving up only a second-rounder, roughly half the compensation called for by the draft trade chart.
“If you study the history of the draft, you’ll see that there’s always exceptions to the rule or to that chart and if you do your due diligence and you got a gut that maybe there’s a buyers’ market which is the gut that I had that maybe Oakland wanted out of that spot,” Ireland said. “You know, you just make the call and I wasn’t going to give up what the chart says to give up but I was willing to be a deal maker and obviously [G.M.] Reggie McKenzie was in the deal-making mode as well and when you got two guys wanting to do a deal, deals get made.”
When the Raiders were on the clock, Ireland let some time pass before calling.
“I kind of let a few minutes go by to see if they were going to call me back, they didn’t,” Ireland said. “I called them, made an offer, they refused it. They called me back and made another offer, and we accepted with about two minutes left on the clock. We kind of started making the phone calls to New York to get the card turned in and everything. It was pretty frantic there for a second. I think we actually got the card turned in with about two or three seconds left on the clock.”
In addition to calling the Dolphins’ personnel at Radio City Music Hall, each team in the trade had to call the trade in to the league office. And if that two or three seconds had passed, the Eagles could have snatched Jordan away, putting the Dolphins in the category of the Vikings, circa 2002. And 2003.
“We felt like maybe Philadelphia may want Dion with Chip Kelly being the head coach while he was at Oregon and coaching Dion,” Ireland said. “So that’s all part of it, to get in front of Philadelphia. I think we got our guy and Philly got their guy and Oakland got their guy, but obviously there’s a lot of anticipation that you have to do, a lot of guys involved in the trade process.”
The question now becomes the manner in which Jordan will be used.
“I think you put him in a position to be successful and that’s what our coaching staff will do,” Ireland said. “When you see a guy that reminds you of players that have played that position that are long, extremely athletic, and flexible that can get in and out of trouble very easily your just going to put the guy in position to be successful. When he was at Oregon, he wasn’t putting his hand on the ground or from a two-point stance rushing the quarterback every single snap. He was detached to a No. 2 receiver in the slot running with tight ends and running backs and receivers down the field and doing a pretty good job of covering those players as well , but we see him as a guy that can get to the passer and when he tries to do that, when he gets better at that he’s going to be something to reckon with, in my opinion.”
If that happens, the Dolphins will be something to reckon with, which is what Ireland and the Dolphins desperately need.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!