The Miami Dolphins had high hopes for defensive end Dion Jordan when the team traded up to the number three overall pick to pick him last year. After his first season, the Dolphins are still waiting on some sort of return on that massive investment.
Since his rookie season ended, Jordan has gained 15 pounds of muscle he hopes will help him better take on some of the massive offensive tackles in the NFL. Jordan hopes his workouts will pay off by getting him on the field this year.
“I definitely feel stronger,” Jordan said. “I needed it. Last year, I was definitely too light to be out there trying to go against some of those offensive tackles.”
Jordan received a $13.3 million signing bonus, but was on the field last year for less than a quarter of all of the Dolphins’ defensive snaps. Jordan was 6’6” and weighed less than 250 pounds last season and couldn’t get on the field.
Jordan said he’s managed to gain the weight without losing any of his speed or quickness, which would be music to the ears of Dolphins fans.
“Have you seen my frame? Does it look like I’m getting too big?” Jordan asked Monday. “I would never sacrifice my speed for weight.”
Jordan blames his slow development last year in part to the lingering effects of right shoulder surgery in February 2013. He missed much of training camp and said he was never 100 percent last year. The shoulder also kept him out of the weight room, but now he's healthy and able to take full advantage of the Dolphins' offseason program, including a lifting regimen that has helped him to put on pounds.
One of Jordan's tutors has been former Dolphins Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor, whose has a similar physique with long limbs. Taylor has been working with Jordan two or three days a week this spring.
"That's a bonus on my part," Jordan said. "He's a cool dude, and he's showing me how to use my length. He's dropping a lot of knowledge."
Jordan's fast enough to drop into pass coverage, and he lined up in several places on the defense during Monday's practice.
If Jordan is indeed ready to take a step forward this season, the Dolphins could put together one of the most ferocious pass rushing defensive lines in the NFL with Jordan, Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell.