The Miami Dolphins have one of the league’s most crowded front sevens, and that prevented Dion Jordan from receiving much playing time last season despite former Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland’s incredibly aggressive decision to move up for him in the 2013 NFL Draft. Jordan is an incredibly talented athletic specimen who can play as a 4-3 OLB, 3-4 OLB, or even a 4-3 DE due to his elite physical tools, pass-rushing ability, vastly underrated work in coverage, and quality run defense. Although he barely played last season, Jordan stood out in those few snaps, and he clearly has the potential to be a difference-maker on the Dolphins defense.
But because of a regime change and the crowded nature of the Dolphins front seven, Jordan was almost put in a situation where he would have been a potential difference-maker on a different team’s defense. Although trade rumors were denied, they swirled and seemed very much real earlier this offseason. Jordan is sticking around in Miami after reported trade talks with the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t turn into a tangible deal with his former coach at Oregon, and the Dolphins will have to make full use of his impressive skill-set instead of wasting him on the bench. It isn’t easy to make room, but it shouldn’t be overly difficult, especially with the way 2013 free-agent busts Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe played last year (hopefully they bounce back).
Jordan reported to the Dolphins much earlier than the start of voluntary workouts, and it sounds like he’s put in some major work this offseason in an effort to explode in 2014. The Dolphins are familiar with breakout players, and Jordan is a candidate to be the next name on the list. According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Jordan “looks like he took an air pump to his arms and shoulders”. That sounds awesome (the visual is pretty great, no?), and hopefully he’ll receive significant snaps and have a high impact on the field for the Dolphins defense.