Dion Jordan: LB or DE?
By Oscar Bode
The Miami Dolphins will have quite the decision to make concerning Dion Jordan’s position. The question is not just what is best for the team right now, but also what will be best for the team going forward. This same question is one that the coaches have not been able to confidently answer since Jordan was selected with the number 3 overall pick, which the dolphins traded up to obtain.
Since that time he has failed to make a consistent impact on the field no matter where he is put. He shows great flashes however he really has not been allowed to thrive in one spot long enough to really make a difference there. Originally Jordan was supposed to start opposite of Cameron Wake, but Olivier Vernon made that near impossible by playing lights out and forcing the coaches’ hand. This is a good problem to have, having so many talented DE’s, but it is a problem none the less.
The case for Dion Jordan at DE- Jordan is a great pass rusher, we can see that given his success in limited opportunities. He flashed great pass rush potential as a rookie and continued to show those flashes in his sophomore year. He is decent, albeit not great, against the run and made sure to bulk up over last offseason to get better in that area. Again the only reason he is not there is that Vernon has been very good opposite of Cameron Wake, so good that it would not be wise to move him out of that spot. If we are only talking about this year, then it would be dumb to have Jordan play at DE.
The future of having him play DE is a very different story though. Cameron Wake is scheduled to make a lot of money next year, of which he is deserving, and the team may be unwilling to shell out that kind of money to someone his age. OV (Olivier Vernon) is set to become a free agent next year and will be paid quite handsomely as someone who is entering the prime of their career and has already shown the ability to be very good if not great. The team might view Jordan as the cheaper yet similarly productive replacement to these two fine gentlemen. This would be the case for keeping Dion Jordan at DE, it wouldn’t help the team too much now, but it would help going forward as a heck of an insurance policy.
The case for Dion Jordan at LB- Dion Jordan was much more linebacker in Oregon than he was a DE. He was a force to be reckoned with due to his speed, shiftiness, and good leverage. He did not spend all that much time with his hand in the dirt. He was used in a variety of ways, blitzing, spying, covering TE’s and others in the slot. The funny thing is, he was really good at being the Swiss army knife of the defense. Which makes it really hard to understand why the Dolphin’s coaching staff cannot seem to see that he would be a great OLB. The Miami Dolphins have a need there and they have this prototypical guy sitting right under their nose. It boggles the mind, I am sure they have their reasons, I simply cannot claim to know them.
Mike Tannenbaum made sure to point out that the Dolphins are still considering both options. In that same interview he referenced a play in which Dion Jordan covered Calvin Johnson 60 yds downfield. Calvin Johnson! He is only one of the best WR’s in football. The Miami Dolphins have a front seven player can cover him for the full length of the field. Yet that same person is being put with his hands on the ground rather than being allowed to play in space. I can only hope that the Miami Dolphins can see what a disservice to the team it would be if Dion Jordan is not at least given a chance to win the starting OLB spot opposite of Jelani Jenkins. In that sentiment I am surely not alone. In fact some fans feel so strongly about this that they have started a petition. Their hope is simply that the Dolphins’ coaching staff listens.
If it were up to me I would move him to LB and call it a day. The Miami Dolphins have a need there, and Dion Jordan fits there. Sometimes it is better to go with the obvious answers and not over think things. Let me know where you think he should be placed and why in the comments section and as usual, Stay Tuned.