Usually when a team trades up and drafts a player with the No. 3 overall pick, they have a plan in place to use him as an immediate starter. That wasn’t the case with the Dolphins and Dion Jordan.
Ex-GM Jeff Ireland dealt the Nos. 12 and 42 overall picks in the 2013 draft in order to move up nine spots in the first round to grab Jordan ahead of Chip Kelly’s Eagles at No. 4 overall. Jordan was — and still remains — an intriguing talent, but the Dolphins didn’t know what to do with him.
After playing Jordan as a base 4-3 defensive end for the majority of his first two seasons, Miami is considering moving Jordan to strong-side linebacker following the release of Philip Wheeler.
“That’s one we’re going to keep talking through. Obviously he’s a great pressure player in the front seven, a great athlete. We all see the play last year where he’s running 60 yards down-field covering Calvin Johnson. There aren’t many people on the planet that can do those things,” vice president Mike Tannenbaum said, via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “He’s a young athletic guy with great upside and we’ll see how that plays out.”
Jordan has the unique ability to cover running backs and tight ends, in addition to rushing the passer. He did it all while at Oregon, but it’s yet to translate in the NFL. He’s made just one start through two seasons and amassed three sacks, while also serving two separate league-imposed suspensions in 2014. With Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon locked in as the starting defensive ends for the Dolphins, moving to linebacker would be Jordan’s best shot at playing time. It’s also the position most scouts had Jordan pegged for coming out of college.