Dion Jordan: How Will Miami Dolphins' Newest DE Fare in the Pros?

Ryan RiddleCorrespondent IApril 25, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25:  Dion Jordan of the Oregon Ducks holds up a jersey on stage after he was picked #3 overall by the Miami Dolphins in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

In Dion Jordan, the Miami Dolphins get hands down the most versatile defensive player in the draft. Without exaggeration, there are very few positions and responsibilities that Jordan cannot execute effectively. He may not wow in terms of power, but he has shown himself to be an effective weapon coming off the edge.

Jordan has far more value than his statistical production, since his impact in the game will be felt in a variety of ways, particularly in how he can be used in matchups.

While at Oregon, Jordan was not tearing up the country with gaudy sack numbers, but that’s mostly because of how he was used. Jordan spent a lot of reps in 2012 locking down slot receivers and playing impressively in space. But when asked to turn it loose, this 6’6” 248-pound speedster is disruptive as any pass-rusher in the class.



College Production

-1.84 solo tackles per game. 

-.74 tackles for a loss per game. 

-.37 sacks per game. 

-4 forced fumbles. 



In Dion Jordan, you can expect a dynamic defender with the versatility to plug in and go from multiple positions. The ceiling is extremely high for Jordan, considering his incredible length and elite speed. When placed in a pro-style training regime, his hand technique in pass-rushing and general polish all around should make this kid one of the most feared and disruptive playmakers in the league.  

There is, however, some inherent risk with Jordan being drafted so early. Can he live up to the high expectations the Dolphins are sure to have of him?

It’s safe to assume he will, at the very least, start several years in the NFL. But will his fate be similar to that of an Aldon Smith or a Manny Lawson? Both guys are long, talented athletes, but the level of impact between these two can vary greatly.  



Dion Jordan does have some fantasy value in leagues that factor in defensive players like an IDP (Individual Defensive Player). But be mindful that his true value comes in versatility and creating favorable matchups. If he ends up shutting down a premiere tight end for 60 minutes, he may have a terrible IDP score but still be a pivotal piece in the game’s outcome.

Expect significant fluctuation in his fantasy output from week-to-week, as his assignments each game will largely determine his potential to produce fantasy points. 



If the Dolphins plan on primarily playing in a 4-3 defensive front, Jordan could still be moved around in various positions. In a base 4-3, He could line up as the strong side linebacker where he would often have coverage responsibilities on the tight end.

On passing downs, Jordan can easily move down to an edge-rusher position where they have tons of flexibility in coverage. Jordan is fantastic in man coverage and could be asked to drop from any position on the field.

When removed from coverage responsibilities, expect him to cut it loose as an electrifying pass-rush weapon.



All-in-all, the Dolphins may have just drafted the most valuable defensive player in this class considering what teams had to work with this year in terms of talent. All you have to do is factor in the variety of things he brings to the table and what attributes he has to work with. Both of those components are limitless for a guy like Jordan.

This was definitely a solid pick that gives Miami’s defense a Swiss-army-knife-type guy with tremendous character in the locker room. One concern here is whether or not Jordan’s skill set is best suited for a 4-3 defensive front. His ideal position is probably outside linebacker in a 3-4.

With all that said, there’s no defensive prospect available with less risk and more upside than Dion Jordan.  


Grade: B