The Miami Dolphins made the biggest moves in the NFL last month in free agency, and they did it again in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.
The Dolphins packaged their No. 12 and 42 picks to trade for the No. 3 overall pick with the Oakland Raiders, but didn't use the pick on left tackle Lane Johnson, as many expected when the trade was announced. Instead, they drafted Oregon pass rusher Dion Jordan, who is a speedy, tall and athletic player but one who comes with several question marks.
"We jumped up there and offered quickly and took a player we coveted quite a bit," general manager Jeff Ireland said. "We just think the world of the player and what he's capable of doing."
The selection of Jordan and not Johnson - who went No. 4 to the Philadelphia Eagles - keeps alive the possibility that the Dolphins can fill their void at left tackle by trading for Kansas City's Branden Albert. The Dolphins still have one second-round pick (54th) and two in the third-round (77th and 82nd) and could still look to fill their hole at tackle with a draft pick.
Ireland said of trading for Albert, "We're nowhere on that thing right now."
Jordan - who stands 6-feet-6 and 248 pounds - has a tall, lean body frame that compares favorably to those of former standouts Jason Taylor and Jevon Kearse, but Jordan is no sure bet as a prospect.
A former tight end who converted to defensive end in 2010, Jordan had just 12.5 sacks combined over his last two college seasons, including only five in 2012. A scouting report distributed by the team called him "explosive," but that he also "lacks the bulk to combat offensive tackles on a regular basis." He rarely played with his hand in the dirt as a true defensive end, and was believed by most scouts to be a better fit as a rush outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
When asked if he needs to get stronger and put on weight, Jordan said, "Of course man. That's a thing that every guy is going to have to do to improve."
Jordan also had surgery on Feb. 28 to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder, and original reports stated his recovery would be three or four months. Ireland said he's not worried about Jordan being healthy for training camp in August.
"I'm not putting a timeline on the injury, but he should be fine," Ireland said. "It's not a major, major thing."