The 2013 NFL Draft was one of the worst classes of talent at the top level in recent memory. Many of the first-round picks from that draft turned into serious busts. However, one of the top picks has been notably worse than the others in former Oregon pass rusher Dion Jordan.
The No. 3 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins really struggled to find success on and off the field as a rookie. Now, he will be looking to make a comeback as he has applied for reinstatement into the league for the 2016 season.
Jordan was a surprising draftee by the Dolphins, after they traded all the way up from the No. 12 slot to select him. It was widely considered that after making the move, the Dolphins would take offensive tackle Lane Johnson as they had a major need at that position.
Then, they shocked the NFL world and ended up going with Jordan because of his athletic potential. After all, Jordan had come off of a superb senior season at Oregon, recording five sacks, and he had absolutely blown up the Combine, running a 4.60 40-yard dash and measuring in at 6-foot-6 and 248 pounds. The team figured that Jordan would be a fit at defensive end in their 4-3 system despite being a prototypical 3-4 rush linebacker.
Soon, the Dolphins found out that Jordan was not going to work out as a down lineman in their scheme. He had trouble making an impact as a rookie, and he could not break into the starting lineup. He did record two sacks, but that was about all he was able to contribute.
However, instead of moving him to linebacker they had him bulk up prior to the 2014 season. This backfired badly as Jordan looked sluggish on the field and also missed six games due to two suspensions due to the NFL’s performance enhancing drug policy. Jordan just did not fit in with the Dolphins’ defense, and he was on the trade block before being suspended for the entire 2015 season for another violation of the same policy.
Now, Jordan is coming back. After a long road, he is looking to get a chance to play for another NFL team. If he can prove that he still has the game-changing athleticism that got him drafted No. 3 overall, then a team will almost certainly take a chance on him. And if he has that athletic ability, then he will almost certainly be able to develop into a solid pass-rush specialist.
It would be in Jordan’s best interest to go to a team running a 3-4, as that was the type of scheme he had success in during his college days. Perhaps a good fit for him would be with the San Francisco 49ers where his former college coach, Chip Kelly, is currently the man in charge.