“There you go Miami! There you go! Be ballsy! I hope that was way loud in all your ears. There you go!”
Someone may have had that exact reaction to the Miami Dolphins 2013 first round selection of Oregon pass rusher Dion Jordan. It is not possible that reaction is at the 48 minute mark of a Google+ Hangout I had on April 25, 2013 with Chris Early. Nope. I do not claim that at all.
Wow - 2013 looks so long ago going back and looking at that video. The Dolphins originally had the 12th pick that year, then surprised everyone in trading up to the third pick, sending the Oakland Raiders the 12th and 42nd picks in the move. The assumption, after Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel had been selected with the first two picks, was Miami was going to make it three straight tackles with the selection of Lane Johnson. Instead, Miami got aggressive and looked to add a pass rusher with incredible potential to their defense.
Matthew Fairburn wrote for SB Nation’s 2013 draft profile of Jordan, “Dion Jordan possesses a rare blend of size and athleticism. At 6-feet-7-inches tall, Jordan moves like a safety. He has fluid hips in coverage and excellent explosion off the line of scrimmage...As a pass rusher, Jordan has plenty of room to grow, but few players in this class rush the edge like he does. Jordan gets incredible bend around the edge, showing the flexibility to maintain his speed and get after the quarterback. Jordan also has tremendous length for a pass rusher, which he combines with an explosive first step off the line off scrimmage to consistently beat tackles.”
How could you not be excited about that coming to your team?
Fairburn’s criticism of Jordan ahead of the draft included, “While Jordan is an explosive athlete, he needs to become a more physical player to reach his full potential...As a pass rusher, Jordan needs to be stronger. His speed moves are on an elite level, but he needs to be able to out muscle opposing linemen to get to the quarterback.”
He concluded, “Jordan is such a rare prospect. He has so much ability, and the only challenge for his NFL team will be finding a way to utilize all of it on the field. Jordan’s upside is that of a difference making franchise player on defense. He has the athletic upside to warrant a top ten selection.”
Jordan warranted a top ten selection and Miami made sure to go get the guy they wanted.
“Everybody thought, ‘Hey, we’ll never get him,’” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said after the team completed the surprise trade and selection of Jordan.
“The reason that I made the call is, I felt like it was a buyer’s market,” then Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland explained. “I felt like they did want to get out of (that pick) and felt like, you don’t get anything for not asking, so why not ask?
“I made a call before the draft just to let them to know that I was interested in maybe getting up,” recalled Ireland. “And then I waited for about I don’t know five or six minutes while they were on the clock and there was no call from them.
“I called and just asked if they were looking to move the pick. They said they were ‘open for business.’ I offered my first offer and they said, ‘We’re not interested.’ So I waited another 45 seconds to a minute and they called right back, asked for (No.) 42 and I said, ‘Sure, we’ll do it.’ That’s how it happened.”
Ireland also explained that he and the team have been watching Jordan for two years. “This is a player that we actually sat in our draft room in December of 2011 and started watching because he was a third year sophomore and we thought he might come out and he didn’t. But he’s been on our radar for quite a while. We’ve always felt like he’s got a tremendous skill set that’s unique. So he’s been on our radar for a while.”
Flat out, Jordan excited me and my reaction on draft night. I wrote the next morning, “Miami came out aggressively, going straight at the batter and simply dominating him. Ireland was Rick Vaughn last night. He walked out to the mound with the sleeves ripped off his leather jersey, and told Stephen Ross he wanted Parkman (yeah, I went Major League II over the original).”
I highlighted Mike Mayock, then with NFL Network, writing of the pick, “This young man, I think he’s got the potential to be the player that I compare him to, which is Jason Taylor, who ironically played for the Miami Dolphins. I also think he looks like an Aldon Smith, and if he puts on 20 pounds on that 6-foot-7 frame, one day he might be as good as a DeMarcus Ware.”
Finally, I wrote, “So you’re telling me, the Dolphins traded the 42nd overall pick to, potentially, put Jason Taylor back on the roster? I think I am okay with that. And, Ireland showed, you may think he has a new look, but the same dead arm, but the boy’s pumped up this offseason.”
This was a surefire, guaranteed homerun (to stick with my 2013 Major League theme) of a pick. I was pumped.
Never mind that Early responded on the Google+ Hangout saying, “I’m not a fan. I will say this. I like Dion Jordan. I’m glad we got him, but, I wasn’t a fan of the trade up. I don’t dislike the pick. I like Jordan. I just didn’t like the trade up.”
There is no room for that kind of logical thinking, Early. This is all about the Dolphins landing a great pass rusher who can come in and continue the legacy of Dolphins pass rushers. This is a perfect move for a team being aggressive.
Fast forward to 2022, and the pick of Jordan seems to have actually been a perfect liner to the shortstop who turned an unassisted triple play. Just crushing dreams.
Jordan played in 16 games as a rookie, recording 26 tackles, two passes defensed, and two sacks. In 2014, he played in 10 games with one start, adding 20 tackles, one pass defensed, and a sack. And that is the extent of his Dolphins stats. the third overall pick managed to have 46 tackles and three sacks before the Dolphins were done with him.
Jordan missed all of 2015 due to substance abuse violations.
The Dolphins released Jordan on March 31, 2017 - just shy of four years after selecting him.
He went on to play for two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, one year with the Oakland Raiders, and last played in 2020 with the San Francisco 49ers.
His career stats are 63 games played including five starts, 108 tackles, six passes defensed, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and 13.5 sacks. The most sacks Jordan ever had in a season was four in 2017 with Seattle.
Since he was the comparison, Jason Taylor played for 15 seasons and only had two in which he did not surpass four sacks. He had three seasons in which he had at least 13.5 sacks - Jordan’s career total.
Yeah, my reaction to the Dion Jordan pick for the Dolphins is clearly my most freezing cold take ever.
If you want to watch us watch four hours of the 2013 NFL Draft, here is the video. This was very early in our attempts to bring you things outside of the site, so apologies that the video and audio are not the greatest.