Well, it is safe to say not many of us ‘experts’ saw this coming. Jeff Ireland is wheeling and dealing like a man possessed. Jeff Ireland reportedly began the trade up process targeting a certain WR many DolFans have been drooling over. However, the Bills refused to trade their pick within their own division. Instead of standing pat, which we fans have become accustomed too, Ireland put his foot further on the gas and traded up to #3 overall. At this point, my twitter feed was absolutely filled with an overreaction of Ireland hate; assuming Mr. Ireland was drafting OT Lane Johnson. The pick of DE/LB Dion Jordan was shocking, and much of the Ireland hate quickly transitioned into praise for the once hated General Manager.
The trade itself was an absolute steal. According to the typical draft value chart the dolphins should have given up their 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 5th. The Dolphins were able to keep their 3rd and 5th round picks. Jeff Ireland definitely ‘won’ the trade. The past weeks leading up to the draft fans were worried the ‘desperate dolphins’ were going to give up that very pick they used to get to number three, for OT Branden Albert. Instead, it is looking like Ireland may steal Albert for a 3rd rounder and was able to get an elite prospect in return. The trade itself warrants an A+.
Now for the player they traded-up for; Dion Jordan. Dion Jordan arrived at Oregon as a 5 star TE prospect despite the fact he missed his entire senior year of football. Jordan was involved in a house fire that year, leaving severe 2nd and 3rd degree burns on over half of his body. Jordan battled through those injuries and became quite the versatile star at Oregon. Jordan was recruited as a TE, but Chip Kelly decided his body type was a better fit at WR. Yes, you read that right, less than two short years ago the player the Dolphins selected at #3 overall to play DE/OLB was a wide receiver. The Wide Receiver experiment ended when Jordan gained about 25 lbs. of muscle filling out his lanky frame. This muscle allowed Kelly to move him back to a crowded TE position. Kelly saw this athlete and new he could not let him waste away on the sideline. This moved Dion Jordan to the position he plays today. Dion Jordan is simply a phenomenal athlete. People compare him to the likes of Aldon Smith, Demarcus Ware, and former Dolphin great Jason Taylor (not bad company). Of course those comparisons are used to explain his pass rushing capabilities, however there is so much more to Jordan. Jordan played both CB and Safety last year in Oregon. So if all goes well the Dolphins drafted an Aldon Smith-type pass rusher with superior coverage ability… Remember how we all got tired of the defenses inability to cover TEs? Yeah, Jeff Ireland was apparently tired of that too. That being said, Jordan is a fairly raw pass rusher. His spin move and ability to blow past the OT to set the edge are both two of his phenomenal skills. Jordan lacks the strength to bull rush strong OTs and can get easily thrown off course. However, his frame will allow him to easily put on some upper-body strength fixing these issues.
Now that we know who Dion Jordan is: How does he fit?
This is interesting. Jordan’s versatility will allow him to play both OLB and DE in a 4-3. Wake obviously holds down one of the DE positions. DE Odrick can be effectively kicked inside to play DT, but the dolphins are already stacked at the DT position. Also, where does last year’s 3rd round pick Vernon play into this? These are questions no one really knows the answer too, but don’t be surprised if one of these defensive linemen is traded in the next few days. Odrick, Vernon, and Soilia could be all dealt within the next few days to free up some cap space. There was not necessarily an imminent need for a DE, which is why this pick was such a shock. Look for Jordan to be a third down pass-rusher/situational player his rookie year and for him to burst onto the scene the 2014 year. The pick itself is a B+. Jordan was not a reach, as he was the 3rd best player on my board. However, they do have immediate needs (CB, OT, OG) and gave up two starters to get one elite prospect at a position that had a fair amount of depth.
Combining the trade grade and the player grade- The Dolphins and Jeff Ireland get a solid A for the first round. It is clear that Jeff Ireland is all-in this year lets hope he stays aggressive and uses his 3 picks tonight to fill-in the Dolphins immediate needs. It will be fun tonight can’t wait to see how it plays out.