Dolphins considering moving Dion Jordan to linebacker

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.

40 responses to “Dolphins considering moving Dion Jordan to linebacker

  1. Whoever drafts Randy Gregory this year is going to find themselves with these exact same issues.

  2. Imagine that, the same position he excelled at in college. It amazes me how Joe Phillbin is still the head coach.

  3. Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, you don’t say. Miami should have figured this out eons ago.

  4. Whoa! you mean that position he was really good at in college, that everyone said he would be playing when he was drafted? What a concept! I can’t say for sure yet, but it seems like Dennis Hickey and Mike Tannenbaum have been doing a good job of embracing the obvious. Sometimes it’s obvious because anything else is obviously stupid. Take notes, Jeffy!

  5. I don’t know why people insist on calling this guy a bust. The few times he has made it on the field, he has made some great plays. It is Coyle’s insistence on playing experienced players that is holding him back. Jenkins and Vernon are the only guys on defense who went from back up to starter and they only started because Coyle was forced to play them. Taylor, McCain and Jordan all have flashed play making ability but they rarely ever see playing time, while they rely on vets like Wheeler to screw up play after play.

  6. This guy is versatile and was moved around a lot to find a fit. Also With Wheeler and Ellerbe above him in the pecking order it limited him for playing time.

    With Suh coming in it might make this a perfect opportunity for him to fit in and stay on the field more.

    DJ also has a great move he does were he will get behind the QB undetected knocking the ball away as the QB attempts to throw. I have seen this in clutch time happen yet it is somehow left out on this report/stat.

  7. It’s a shame to see the Dolphins ruin a good player by not using him to his strengths. He’s a 3-4 OLB plain and simple and everyone said that from the start, yet they tried to hammer a square peg in a round hole and make him change schemes. If you’re not going to use him properly you should just trade him to a team that will put him in the right position rather then try to force him to change.

  8. I have to agree with the comment above. With the moves the Dolphins had made since Hicky joined the front office it seems like someone is finally “getting it”. Ever since I saw Jordan forty yards downfield covering Gronk like a blanket on a newborn I never understood why he wasn’t playing one of the outside LB positions.

    There is no doubt in my mind Jordan can succeed at one of the two spots as long as he can stay off of whatever keeps getting him suspended. Having Jordan, McCain, Misi, and Jenkins on the outside and grab Kendricks in the first or Perryman in the second and that LB group just became a solid unit behind an already beast of a Dline. If Kendricks/Perryman were to get injured they could always fall back on Misi who isn’t stellar but gets the job done.

    Sure there are still some holes on the team but until Hicky gives me not a reason to believe he can get the job done I have 100% faith in him that this team is going to be ready to go when week 1 comes around.

  9. This is why I despise labeling a player ‘bust.’

    When you select a player third overall you expect the organization to have a scheme that would maximize his potential, not throw him in and hope for great output.

    Not a Dion Jordan fan at all, I am a USC fan. But, when these young guys get thrown into the fire without any protection I point the finger at the team, not individual.

  10. We have had trouble covering RB’s coming out of the backfield as well as TE’s for years. I thought that is why Ireland was drafting him in the first place. Glad Hickey is there, hopefully he can get the most out of Jordan’s talent. No reason why he can’t rush the passer as a LB as well. It’s one thing being able to identify talent…it’s another to utilize it.

  11. Gotta put someone at LB we don’t have one!!! Philbin don’t know what he’s doing anyway so this will all be just speculation!!! FIRE PHILBIN ALREADY!!!

  12. Finally, Hello! This guy can play ball. Ireland was a crazy man knowing full well this was his last chance. As far as moving up in the draft it only cost a 2nd rounder, so this was a good deal IF he can play. He certainly is not a BUST, but being injured and then not one, but two Substance Suspensions makes him a moron. If the Dolphins get a true ILB in the Draft. They will finally have all the pieces in place. The Offense still needs a Guard and maybe 2 if Billy Turner is not ready. Dallas Thomas should be cut!

  13. tjacks7 says:
    Mar 23, 2015 12:01 PM
    3 sacks in 2 season is the basis for a great pressure player?
    As mentioned in the article, he’s not played that much, unfortunately.

  14. derpadeederpjetsyjet says:
    Mar 23, 2015 12:34 PM
    I’d just move him to “bust” and move on….
    I bet you’d like him to move onto the jets… sorry, not happening.

  15. catquick says:
    Mar 23, 2015 2:54 PM
    If he was a fourth round pick, he’d have been cut by now.
    But he wasn’t, as he was considered by virtually all draft scouts as one of the top three defensive players in that draft. If they would get him on the field and let him play, he’ll prove himself.

  16. I can only think they play Wheeler because of his pay status, or because our DC hasn’t done his job, or the head coach didn’t. To bad the owner has no clue either. Bill

  17. Ireland & Philbin for that matter never leaves a great college player where he played best always got to move ’em around, then they wonder why the player never made it… because the idiots try to put them somewhere else!!! Philbin needed to be FIRED after the team folded @ the end of the season for the 3rd year straight!!!

  18. Jordan has played really well when used as a SAM linebacker but is NOT a pass rusher. He is, has, and will always be a outside linebacker and if the Dolphins want him to reach his talent they need to move him to SAM linebacker.

  19. This year he’s makes an inpact with more playing time. Too much talent to not be on the field.

  20. Dion Jordan was not a bust, I believe the Dolphins did not know how to fit him into our defensive scheme, with Olivier Vernon turning out to be a stud it kind of stunted his impact on our defense… wish we could of found a spot for him but our defensive style does not match his skill set… I wont be surprise Chip comes a calling or he ends up in Seattle…Indeed…

  21. dclogicatlast says:
    Mar 23, 2015 1:23 PM
    For the uninformed: he’s not moving to the position he played in college. 3-4 OLB and SLB in a 4-3 are two very different positions.


    I guess “uninformed” people foolishly thought that SAM and JACK were two very different positions and never realized that all 3-4 OLBs play the same position and the same scheme and have the same responsibilities.

    What were we all thinking???

    FWIW, Dion Jordan lined up all over the place at Oregon, including end and tackle in nickel and dime and the occasional turns at all 4 linebacker positions.

    Most people projected him as an rangy all-purpose SAM backer in the Carl Banks/Jamir Miller mold. The Dolphins instead tried to turn him into Jason Taylor 2.0.

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