A new NFL season means a new crop of rookies entering the league. From that group, there will always be some rookies who face more pressure than the others. The cause of that pressure, can be from where in the Draft they were selected, what team picked them, their respective careers in college, or something else. No matter what, though, there is someone who faces the most pressure each year.
NFL.com yesterday asked several of their analysts, which rookie is feeling the most pressure this season. While most of them answer Geno Smith (or his New York Jets teammate Dee Milliner), Adam Rank believes it is Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan.
Dolphins put the spotlight on Jordan with their draft-day trade-up
The Miami Dolphins put the bull's-eye squarely on defensive end Dion Jordan when they jumped up in the draft to get him with the No. 3 overall pick. There are high hopes in Miami; the expectation is a playoff berth. People will look to Jordan to play a huge part in that.
I understand that a trade up to the number three position to get a player normally adds pressure, but I am not sure that there is added pressure on Jordan. The Dolphins have a number one pass rusher in Cameron Wake. They have others, like Jared Odrick, Olivier Vernon, and Derrick Shelby, to rotate with Jordan. Add in the injury Jordan is rehabbing right now and that he will miss all of the offseason program, and all of the OTAs, as Oregon finishes the academic term, and there really should not be a lot of pressure on Jordan.
I think, if you want to say he has pressure to have a stellar career, I could see that. But, in his rookie year, I do not feel like he has a ton of pressure on him. Dolphins fans seem to realize, he's a rookie that still needs some development. He has been compared to Jason Taylor, even before he landed with the Dolphins. Taylor had five sacks and 42 tackles his rookie year, playing in 13 games with 11 starts. If Jordan has stats like that, it's a good year.
Maybe all the talk about Ryan Tannehill needing time to develop last year has made me, and possibly the majority of Dolphins fans, a little more patient with first round draft picks than most fan bases would be. Jordan does not need to make the Pro Bowl this year. He does not need to lead the team in sacks. He needs to compliment Wake, show flashes of what he could be, and develop throughout the season.
I do not see pressure on Jordan for this year. Come back in 2014 or 2015, and we will talk again.