When the Miami Dolphins traded up to No. 3 to draft pass-rusher Dion Jordan this past April, it was assumed that he would be a starter from Day 1. Early indications were, though, that the rookie would play in a situational role as he grew accustomed to life in the NFL.
That might not be the case for Jordan, though, who is primed to be the Week 1 starting right defensive end – at least from a mental standpoint.
“Oh yeah, yes, sir,” Jordan told NFL Network’s Warren Sapp when asked about starting. “I can handle it. I’ll be ready to go.”
Before his name can be penned in as the starter, Jordan will have to beat out second-year end Olivier Vernon during training camp and the preseason. The Miami (Fl) product came to the Dolphins as an extremely raw talent, but has been impressive throughout the offseason and will be giving everything he has to earn the top spot on the depth chart.
In all honesty, Jordan still has plenty of ground to cover before he’s ready to see significant snaps for the Dolphins. An unpolished talent with an extremely high ceiling, the former Duck has all the makings of an elite sack artist. Like many of the league’s top edge rushers, though, it could take at least one season of backup duty before Jordan finds his stride.
Especially in today’s NFL, the value of a pass rusher with Jordan’s potential completely justifies the Dolphins’ draft-day gamble. If he can beat out Vernon for the starting gig, the risk will be well worth the reward.
Training camp will give us some clarity on the situation, but Jordan has the right mentality to be a first-year starter.