Prior to the 2013 NFL Draft, Dion Jordan's name was bubbling among Miami Dolphins fans as a player that could make a big impact in the NFL. Funnily enough, many didn't even think the team stood a chance of landing the player. That was until former General Manager Jeff Ireland traded up to land Jordan with the third overall pick.
While Jordan was a player that likely would have taken to develop, not many envisaged a rookie season where Jordan would only see the field in 35 snaps in the last two games of the season, accounting for just 23 percent of the team's total defensive snaps. By that stage of the season, many would have thought Jordan's workload would increase. Strangely, that never materialized.
But that hasn't deterred Jordan.
"I'm going into my second year now, and I am looking forward to that big game where I come up and make big-time plays for our team and win these games," Jordan said on Sunday after Miami's preseason game with Atlanta.
Jordan did get one pressure against the quarterback against Atlanta, but couldn't finish with the sack. This was a theme that was familiar to the young defensive end last year, where he managed only 2 sacks despite pressuring the quarterback 18 times.
Yet Philbin had nothing but praise for Jordan after the game.
"I think, No. 1, we want to keep seeing the get-off. He has a very good get-off. Obviously, people are aware. He got chipped a couple of times. He got double-teamed a few times. He's got to develop that sense of when that could occur, how to counter that, and I think it's a matter of technique. His get-off is good, his motor is good. I think those will come."
Indeed, one aspect of Jordan's game that was evident on Sunday was his imroved run-blocking ability, something he wasn't asked to do in college as a blitzing outside linebacker.
With Jordan's surgically repaired shoulder now fully healthy, and a four game suspension looming, the second-year player out of Oregon really needs to prove himself during these preseason games. Failure to do that, could lead to the dreaded word all teams and fans want to avoid: bust.
Alex Parish is an Associate Editor at The Phinsider. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @AlexParish89.