On draft day in April, there weren’t too many Miami Dolphins fans more excited about Jeff Ireland’s trade up to draft Oregon’s stud defender Dion Jordan, than I was.
A freakish athlete with physical attributes that reminded fans of Miami Dolphins legend Jason Taylor, he was supposed to come in and be the bookend compliment to Cameron Wake.
So far this season, with the emergence of Olivier Vernon, coupled with Jordan’s slow development setting the edge while defending the run, and the disappointment that has been Weakside Backer Phillip Wheeler; I’ve begun wondering if the Dolphins aren’t playing Jordan at the wrong position.
I look at Denver’s Von Miller as an example to the type of role Jordan can play for the Fins if given the opportunity. Serving as a stand up Linebacker on early downs and as a 3rd down pass rush specialist.
Jordan’s movement skills, coverage ability, & motor in pursuit, Jordan would be a dominating presence on the Weakside with his size. Providing someone who could defend opposing Tight Ends, blitz, and rush the passer with his hand in the dirt during key pass rushing situations.
Middle Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe hasn’t been as great as advertised this year but he’s been much better than Wheeler, & Koa Misi is ranked top 10 at his position by PFF as he is ever so solid on the Strongside. So adding Jordan to the back 3 of the front 7 may be the spark that brings some consistency to the the defense’s performance and allows him to provide more impact than he’s generated so far during his rookie year.
It’s been a roller coaster ride all year for the Dolphins defense and for the team as a whole, but the key to making a playoff push the way they hope to is to utilize their talent wisely.
Supposedly, Jordan is going to see increased playing time against the Panthers, with most of it coming covering Greg Olsen and spying on Cam Newton. Hopefully the coaching staff’s epiphany equals a winning recipe. Fins Up!!