Judging by the looks of things last season, Dion Jordan was a wasted pick in the Miami Dolphins 2013 Draft.
The sad thing is the team, under the guidance of former general manager Jeff Ireland, traded from the 12th slot in the Draft to third, where everyone thought they would take tackle Lane Johnson out of Oklahoma. Johnson was bypassed for the defensive end out of Oregon and left many scratching their collective heads over the decision made by Dolphins management.
Jordan’s season was not the one typical of the third-overall selection. He was hurt, had to learn the game on the pro level and wasn’t even a starter last year. To make matters worse, the Miami offensive line was a sham and got worse as the season progressed, leaving media and the fans to wonder what the team was thinking in bypassing a tackle.
This year, it seems, Jordan is out for redemption of sorts – a chance to prove he can play in this league and contribute to the Dolphins as a full-time player.
Jordan told Fox News he has added more than 15 pounds in the past year, which should make him better equipped to take on NFL blockers.
Jordan was on the field for less than a quarter of the Dolphins' defensive snaps as a rookie in 2013, paying only modest dividends after receiving a $13.3 million signing bonus. He excelled as a pass rusher for Oregon, but at 6-6 and less than 250 pounds, the rookie had trouble finding a home in the Dolphins' 3-4 defense.
A stronger Jordan should be a better fit at end, and he said the additional bulk hasn't cost him any speed or quickness.
The idea of a healthy Jordan on one end and a veteran Cameron Wake on the other is something the team surely envisioned last season. Add the components of Olivier Vernon as part of the rotation and Randy Starks and the Dolphins still have a formidable front line to challenge the NFL.
Miami’s defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle believes this is a season where Jordan could “explode” on the scene.
“The thing was last year, we came very close in the preseason to have to make a decision whether or not we were going to basically redshirt Dion or know that we were going to get limited snaps from him. All of the talk in the offseason that centered around, ‘Well, he wasn’t utilized, he didn’t do that.’ Well, honestly, we knew going into the year that he had not had the offseason, that he was coming off of an injury and would it be in the best interest of our team to have him, even for limited snaps, we made that decision.”
Coyle and the Dolphins staff hope this is a season where nothing holds the defensive end back.