After a trade with the Oakland Raiders, the Miami Dolphins have selected Oregon OLB Dion Jordan with the third overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Pros: Creates a unique set of schematic opportunities in an NFL defense as a "moveable chess piece" -- Jordan can play end and "endbacker" as you'd expect, but he can also play at linebacker depth, and cover slot receivers in some very interesting ways. Amazing run-and-chase player for his size; will catch up to running backs going at full speed. Has a very unique ability to read, drop, and cover receivers and tight ends from inline or the slot. Shows legitimate coverage ability in the slot -- jams receivers at the line, and transitions decently from hip turn to downfield movement. Backs out in zone blitzes and zone drops to cover tight ends on the seam, and has the recovery speed to come back up and stop short-area plays. Actually does a credible job on man and zone coverage, which is really bizarre at his size -- looks like a really good mutant nickel cornerback at times.
Cons: Leverage is a pretty serious issue on Jordan's game tape -- he gets blocked out far too easily if he isn't rushing from a wide slant. Still learning to use his upper-body strength. Gets too high off the snap. Doesn't have a bull-rush yet -- gets rocked back on power-blocks and needs to reset. Spin move needs a lot of work -- Jordan still struggles to keep his balance when trying to turn around blockers. Gets pushed out of the pocket against tackles when he can't match the momentum battle. Raw player who still struggles to keep his body under control at times.
What he brings to the team: An original skill set. Jordan doesn't really have a modern-day positional equivalent in the pros. There's an element of projection to Jordan's ultimate upside, but the potential is so tantalizing, and there's enough on tape to believe that he could be the best pure athlete in this draft class. He immediately adds many different dimensions to Miami's multiple defense.
Was it the right pick? Perhaps. Great kid and player, but this is very, very risky. The Dolphins still need to find a replacement for left tackle Jake Long, and if Jordan doesn't put up big numbers in his rookie season, it could be curtains for general manager Jeff Ireland, the guy who just drafted him.