Reporting Tim Kephart
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DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins thought enough of defensive end Dion Jordan to trade up to the number three overall spot in the draft to select him. But if you think Jordan is going to be exclusively used on the defensive line, you would be mistaken.
Jordan, who is expected to eventually form a fearsome tandem with Cameron Wake, has told the Dolphins he wants to play on the special teams unit. It turns out the Dolphins may just take Jordan up on his offer.
“I feel like if you can’t participate on special teams, as a football player, that says something about you,” Jordan told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald. “I feel like it’s one of the hardest things to do. It reveals how athletic you are and how much you’re able to take in from the game.”
Still, it’s extremely rare for a team to send out a top pick on special teams mainly due to the potential injury risk to said player. In this case, Jordan would be a 6’6”, 250 pound beast flying down the field looking to knock out an opponent.
While the sight of Jordan nailing someone on a return, it may not be enough to outweigh the risks associated with the idea. Jordan is still trying to put offseason shoulder problems behind him which have limited him in the first week of practice.
Jordan has played on special teams before, both in high school and at the University of Oregon.
The Dolphins have made a large investment into Jordan. The Fins first gave up a second-round pick to get Jordan and then gave him a fully guaranteed four-year, $20.6 million contract.
Jordan also told former NFL star Warren Sapp during an NFL Network interview that he expects to start opposite Wake in Week 1 of the regular season. It’s a good attitude to have, but Olivier Vernon will provide stiff competition Jordan may not be able to overcome.
Jordan has been compared favorably to San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith and Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware. It’s high praise for Jordan, who has yet to play a single down in the NFL.
The former Oregon Duck ran a 4.6 second 40-yard-dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and also had a 4.35 second 20-yard shuttle, which were both top performances at his position of defensive end. Jordan’s speed could also allow the Fins to line him up at linebacker in certain pacakges.
During his time at Oregon, Jordan was named a first-team All-Pac 12 selection in 2011 when he had 42 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks. He followed that up with a 2012 performance of 44 tackles, 10.5 for loss and five sacks.