When the Miami Dolphins drafted Dion Jordan 3rd overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Dolphins thought they’d have a staple on defense for years to come. Expectations were high, but an injury and suspensions have slowed the young defender’s career.
Having served his suspension, it looked like Jordan would be back with the team earlier this season. However, a nagging injury kept him on the sidelines. This week that all changed as Jordan began doing a little light work practicing with the team. So what do the Dolphins do with the troubled star?
The Dolphins traded up to the number 3 spot to get Dion Jordan and ever since he’s faced nothing but criticism. Sure he’s made mistakes, but trading up to get a player puts a lot of pressure on the talent to succeed. For the team to win on the move, they have to lose. Moving up in the draft takes extra picks and choosing an athlete that high always draws fire.
If they take a bit to develop, skeptics will criticize what the team could’ve got with their extra picks. Jordan has all the potential in the world, so the team barely gambled. If he can get his off-field issues under control, he could still be a playmaker.
With his time off what does he have left? If anyone knows about being patient with a player, it’s the Miami Dolphins. Not only did Cameron Wake not play in the NFL until the age of 27, but Miami has also had the unfortunate luck of waiting for a troubled star.
Remember when Ricky Williams served a similar suspension and then “retired”?
He came back looking just as fresh as the day he left. Dolphins fans might be frustrated with what’s happening with Dion, but all the critics will be silenced if the kid can show up to play.
Should Miami decide to keep Jordan on the roster, they’ve said it’ll be on the defensive line. With starters Cameron Wake and Mario Williams being 34 and 31 years old respectively the Dolphins could use some young fresh legs. Wake has been a player who’s also missed some time due to injury and came back looking better than he has ever before. Unfortunately for him and the Dolphins, Father Time waits for no man.
It would be wise of Miami to hold on to any depth they could have moving forward as waiting until the last minute to groom your next potential star sets the team back too far. If Jordan can be half the player the athletes in front of him are, he’ll fill a void and give the Dolphins another couple years before going after their next big thing.
Dion Jordan might not play a single down this season, and that’s fine. However, Miami has a low risk/high reward should they decide to keep him. The Dolphins would be wise to let him heal fully and come in next season and prove what he’s got left if everyone on defense stays healthy.
The only way he should be rushed back to action is if current depth gets low. Should Jordan come back hungry and healthy into training camp, it wouldn’t be long before the team forgot about his troubled past.
Conveniently if he practices with the team enough this season as well, it could give the Dolphins a little more flexibility with addressing needs in the draft. Miami needs to hang on to him, and if he doesn’t work out, they won’t lose much. Let Dion stay.