The Miami Dolphins selected the highest-rated defensive player in the draft last year in defensive end Dion Jordan. Miami and former general manager Jeff Ireland made a bold move to trade up nine spots with the Oakland Raiders to get the former Oregon star at No. 3 overall.
But Jordan’s first year was not what the Dolphins expected. Jordan finished with just 26 tackles and two sacks.
So how does Jordan -- last year's top defensive prospect -- rank with this year’s top defensive player: Jadaveon Clowney? ESPN.com’s Dolphins blog asked resident scout Matt Williamson this week about the Jordan-Clowney comparison.
According to Williamson, Clowney ranks ahead of Jordan coming out of college.
“If Jordan came out this year, he wouldn’t be the third overall pick,” Williamson explained. “Jordan is not Clowney. There was a really weak draft at the top [last year].”
Many consider the 2014 draft to be one of the deepest in years due to the record amount of juniors who declared this year. Jordan also left after his junior season but proved to be a raw prospect. Miami’s coaching didn’t quite know how to use the freakish athlete. They made him a backup defensive end to use on third down and he also became a key member of special teams.
Jordan did not appear to be an ideal fit for Miami’s 4-3 defense last season. Miami’s coaches were nervous about playing him against the run on first and second down. Jordan must add strength to his thin frame in order to be an every-down player. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said recently at the NFL owners meetings that they plan to get Jordan on the field more in 2014.
“For him to survive in a pretty base 4-3, Jordan needs to be Von Miller and not Jared Allen,” Williamson explained. “Miller plays off the line of scrimmage a fair amount. They drop him in coverage a lot and he rushes the passer on third down. Maybe that’s who Jordan should be.”