The 2013 NFL Draft was one of hope for the Miami Dolphins and their fans. The Dolphins had drafted Ryan Tannehill in 2012 and he became the team’s starting quarterback heading into his rookie season, the first time a rookie opened the season as the starting quarterback in franchise history. Head coach Joe Philbin was heading into his second season and the team was debuting a completely new look for the club as the team changed jerseys and logos.
It was time for a clean, fresh start and the end of the team’s struggles. The 2013 NFL Draft was going to bring Miami back to the road to relevance. The Dolphins would likely add a first-round, franchise left tackle to protect their young quarterback and then build the rest of the team from there.
Then, Miami threw everyone a curveball. They traded up from the 12th-overall selection to the third pick, giving the Oakland Raiders the 12th- and 42nd-picks in exchange for the move. Then, instead of a tackle as everyone assumed the team would select, general manager Jeff Ireland listened to the consensus of his coaches, all of whom reportedly said the player they would like the most out of the draft was Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan. The card went in and Jordan was the defensive end of the future for the Dolphins.
That future ended this offseason when Miami released Jordan for failing a physical. After four years with the Dolphins, Jordan managed to rack up as many substance abuse suspensions as sacks in his time with Miami, each totaling three. He has not played since December 2014, missing all of 2015 due to suspension and all of 2016 with a knee injury. Jordan’s level of bust is not one Miami had seen before, and it should not come as a surprise that he was the selection for ESPN’s “Biggest draft bust ever for all 32 NFL teams” article posted on Thursday.
ESPN Dolphins reporter James Walker wrote of Jordan:
The Dolphins traded up nine spots to select Jordan, who was projected to be the draft's best defensive player at the time. Four years later, Jordan has had multiple league suspensions and hasn't played in a game since 2014. He was released two weeks ago and recently picked up by Seattle. The Dolphins could have stayed in their original spot at No. 12 and selected cornerback Desmond Trufant or offensive lineman Kyle Long and kept their second-round pick.
Jordan was the last member of the 2013 draft class to still be on Miami’s roster. With his release, the Dolphins completely cleared out Ireland’s last draft class as a general manager. He and the team agreed to mutually part ways in January 2014, and Miami has been continuing to work on getting back on the road to relevance.
To be fair, the Raiders used those picks from the Dolphins to add cornerback D.J. Hayden and offensive tackle Menelik Watson, neither of whom are on the Raiders any more. In four seasons with Oakland, Hayden recorded 25 starts over 45 games played, with three interceptions - tying Jordan’s sack and suspension totals. He signed this season with the Detroit Lions. Watson appeared in 27 games for the Raiders, with 17 starts, mostly playing right tackle for the team. He signed with the Denver Broncos this offseason.
Last year, with new head coach Adam Gase, who replaced Philbin in 2016, the team finished the season 10-6 and in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. If they can come away with some quality players in this year’s Draft, they may finally be firmly on that road.