Living out west in Pac-12 country during the 2012 college football season, I got to see a lot of University of Oregon Ducks football games. Subsequently, I also attempted to keep up with the Ducks mascot and match him push-up for push-up. Truth be told, I couldn’t keep up in the push-ups department. Now, as for keeping up with the football team, that was mission accomplished. In the process of watching a lot of Oregon games, I became more than a causal fan of the Chip Kelly run team with their millions … and millions of jersey combination.
With the high octane and often-quick striking offense that put points on the board, the Oregon defense was tasked with keeping their opponents from scoring. At outside linebacker, Dion Jordan helped lead Oregon to a 12-1 record in his senior campaign.
Although Jordan’s career numbers for sacks with only 14.5 seem low, the young man out of Chandler, AZ with position versatility must have impressed the Miami Dolphins scouts enough for the organization to trade up to the number three pick in the NFL draft. If Jordan is indeed the real deal and a disruptive force at linebacker, then there’s a real possibility that the Dolphins have secured a Pro Bowl linebacker, which is a big deal for a organization that has not had one since Zach Thomas.
What makes Jordan a likely candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year is not only his rare athleticism, running a 4.54 in the 40, footwork like a small forward in basketball, but also his upside. Due to Oregon’s defensive scheme bouncing between the 3-4 and 4-3, Jordan had responsibilities in run game if called upon to play defensive end, but also his duties in coverage on passing downs.
With the Dolphins signing linebacker Dannell Ellerbe away from the world champion Baltimore Ravens, other teams may key on the big-money free agent as opposed to the unproven rookie. AFC East quarterbacks better remember Jordan’s number because he could easily finish the season with double digits sacks and a nice individual award to show for his on the field play.