For some teams’ draft debacles, I did some fairly extensive research. When I got to Miami on the list, this wasn’t necessary. Back in 2013 I had a HUGE draft crush on this player, and I truly thought the Eagles had a chance to draft him at 4th overall. Until the Dolphins traded up and selected him 3rd overall.
For those not in the know, this player was Dion Jordan, the defensive end out of Oregon. Coming into the draft he was a physical marvel, he was 6’6 and weighed 250 pounds. To add to that impressive frame, he ran a 4.6 40 yard dash. That’s faster than some running backs and receivers. I’m sure the Dolphins looked at him like I did, “the next Julius Peppers.”
Except, he wasn’t anything like what people expected. During his rookie season he played in all 16 games, but only registered 26 tackles and 2 sacks. Not awful, but it was clear that he was distracted by something. Fast forward to his 2nd year and he was suspended the first 4 games for violating the PED policy. He was then suspended another 2 games for violating the NFL’s drug policy.
In April before the start of his 3rd season he was suspended for the entire year due to a diluted drug test sample. Jordan continued his struggles with alcohol and drugs and didn’t play during the 2016 season either. After years of trying to help Jordan, the Dolphins released him in March of 2017. This is one of those truly sad cases where the bust label is applied based on off-field issues and not actual play.
When Miami took Jordan 3rd overall, they also traded their 42nd overall pick to move up. This was an extremely talented draft class, that second round pick could have yielded a true impact player. The Dolphins could have had two of the following; Lane Johnson (thank God I’m not the Eagles’ GM) Ziggy Ansah, Sheldon Richardson, Kyle Long, Tyler Eifert, DeAndre Hopkins, Xavier Rhodes, Travis Fredrick, Zach Ertz, Darius Slay, or Le’Veon Bell. That’s an insane pool of talent that they could have double dipped in.
While the Dolphins may disagree, this story does in fact have a happy ending. Jordan seems to have finally gotten his life back together, he’s worked with a trainer and life coach, and attended AA meetings to face his struggles head on. The Seattle Seahawks signed him and he was actually somewhat productive in spurts, which is especially impressive since he hadn’t played for nearly 1,000 days before his first snaps with the team. I truly hope he continues on the right path and goes on to have a productive career.