FRIDAY BUZZ COLUMN
Some reaction to the Dolphins’ selection of Oregon defensive end/linebacker Dion Jordan:
### NFL Network’s Mike Mayock: “He’s breathtaking off the edge. He’s got the potential to be Jason Taylor. He looks a little bit like an Aldon Smith. If he puts 20 pounds on that 6-7 frame, someday he might even be a DeMarcus Ware. He’s got that edge speed. The motor is excellent. At Oregon, they even put him over the slot and had him disrupt the slot in pass coverage. They’ve got Jared Odrick, who’s more of a defensive tackle than an end. They needed an edge presence, but they have to have a plan for left tackle.”
### ESPN’s Jon Gruden: “I really like Jordan’s athleticism but I’m shocked by this pick. [At Oregon] he plays six plays, he’s out six plays. When you watch Jordan play 70 snaps in an NFL game, that will be first time you ever seen him do it. He’s narrow. He’s got a shoulder problem. There’s a lot of unknown right now.
“No question he’s a great edge rusher, does an excellent job getting off the ball and beating tackles with edge pressure. [But] I don’t see inside moves. Everything is to the outside. For him to be a great pro, he will have to do more than just rush around the edge.”
### ESPN’s Mel Kiper said he’s best suited to be a 3-4 outside linebacker instead of a defensive end in a 4-3.
“At less than 250 pounds, can he hold up at the point of attack?” Kiper wonders. “Can he be a down guy against power tackles in the NFL?” But Kiper likes that "he made a lot of run stops behind the line of scrimmage – 23 tackles for loss the last two years.”
### NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci: “When he puts on a little muscle, he’s going to be dynamite. They’re going to find a way to have this guy on the field most downs.”
### Before the draft, NFLdraftscout.com’s Rob Rang predicted Jordan will be “exposed as overrated” and wonders why he wasn’t more productive. “Far from the sure thing that his cut-ups have led some to believe,” Rang said. “Rather than actually make plays in coverage, Jordan simply took up space.”
### NFL Network’s Marshall Faulk: “If you’re going to compete against the Patriots two times a year, you have to be able to beat a guy one-on-one and not blitz Tom Brady. You need this guy.”
### Pro Football Weekly called Jordan a “long-limbed, fluid moving athlete with surprising play strength given his linear frame… Could require patience to develop but could become a difference maker in two years given his natural explosion and raw physical skills…. Cannot fight through blocks… Does not disengage well once he’s locked up…. Sudden first step… Can cover tight ends and keep stride with backs.”
### NFL.com noted Jordan was rarely asked to play with a hand in the dirt as a traditional defensive end. But he said tonight that won’t be a problem. And Jeff Ireland said there's a possibility he might play linebacker. The coaching staff will determine that… Let’s hope Jordan ends up better than the other two Oregon players who went third overall: Joey Harrington and Akili Smith…. None of Jordan’s five sacks last season came against a double team.
### Here's what Dolphins owner Steve Ross said about the pick: “I’m very pleased. I’m really surprised. We had a dinner with the coaches and Jeff last week. At the end of the dinner, we went around asking, I asked them who they’d pick around there and the first choice was Dion Jordan. Everybody thought, ‘Hey, we’ll never get him.’ And it was like, just sitting in there and it was like Jeff said, ‘Let me just try it based on the things I hear.’
"I thought he was kidding and sure enough when [Oakland] called back I think everybody in that room was shocked. Joe (Philbin) will tell you that’s one player they really liked. They thought he was really different and I think it’s a great move. This is an impact player. There’s nothing better when you’re really drafting and you’re getting what you think is…with the third pick in the draft and the guy who you really loved… It’s a great thing. It’s a great day and the value, giving up as little as they had to give for him and looking at the numbers and how they assess things, these are incredible. Good day.”
Among the names still available that the Dolphins have spent extra time with at different positions:
### Running back: Had a private workout with Clemson’s Andre Ellington and spent a lot of time with North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard.
### Receiver: Washington State’s Marquess Wilson and junior college standout Courtney Gardner visited team headquarters. Miami also met multiple times with Lehigh’s Ryan Spadola and had a private audition with Texas A&M’s Ryan Swope and West Virginia’s Stedman Bailey. Among others on their radar: Louisiana Tech’s Quinton Patton and Utah All-American kick returner Reggie Dunn.
### Tight end: UF’s Jordan Reed and Michigan State’s Dion Sims visited, as did H-back/tight end Kyle Juszczyk, who could be the first player drafted from Harvard since Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2005. Among others they’ve shown interest in: Stanford’s Zach Ertz, Cincinnati’s Travis Kelcie, South Carolina’s Justice Cunningham, Maryland’s Matt Furstenburg.
### Offensive line: Too many to name all, but CSU-Pueblo’s Ryan Jansen, Chadron State’s Garrett Gilkey and FSU’s Menelik Watson visited. Among those with private Dolphins workouts: North Carolina’s Brennan Williams and Travis Bond, San Jose State’s David Quessenberry (Miami likes him) and West Virginia’s Jeff Braun.
### Linebackers: UF’s Jelani Jenkins and Jon Bostic visited. They’ve shown interest in Texas A&M Jonathan Stewart, Oregon’s Kiko Alonso and Ohio State’s Nate Williams, among others.
### Cornerbacks: Boise State’s Jamar Taylor, Houston’s DJ Hayden and Southeast Louisiana’s Robert Alford visited, and the Dolphins expressed interest in Mississippi State’s Darius Slay, Utah State's Will Davis, Oregon State’s Jordan Poyer and Cal’s Steve Williams, among others. "I don't know that [cornerback] is a huge need," Ireland said late Thursday night.
### Safety: Arkansas State’s under-the-radar Don Jones visited. Miami privately auditioned Michigan’s Jordan Kovacs and expressed interest in FIU’s Jonathan Cyprien, UCF’s Kemal Ishmael (Conference USA player of year) and Rutgers’ Duron Harmon.
### Specialists: Among kickers the Dolphins like: UF’s Caleb Sturgis (24 for 28 on field goals last year, and 17 of 22 beyond 40 last two seasons). Dan Carpenter likely will have competition.
### Jeff Ireland said tonight that the Dolphins are "nowhere" on a Davone Bess trade, with one source saying Miami wants a higher pick than Cleveland has offered. Though Miami has the cap space, his salary of $2.7 million would be a bit pricey for a potential fourth receiver. And keep in mind Miami’s fourth receiver played just 16.6 percent of their offensive snaps last season.
The Dolphins signed Brandon Gibson with the clear intent of playing him quite a bit behind starters Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline.
### Dwyane Wade's 1 for 12 shooting in Game 3 against Milwaukee tonight was the second-worst of his career, barely ahead of a 1 for 13 night against Indiana in 2010. But "we had other guys who filled in the gaps," said Ray Allen, who led Miami with 23 points. "That's what this team is made of."
Said Wade: "After the game, I told [Allen], 'Thanks for picking me up.'"
But Wade helped a lot in other ways, with 11 assists, 9 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 blocks.
### Ricky Nolasco’s agent on Thursday lashed out at the Marlins for Tuesday’s unfortunate incident in which Nolasco came to Target Field in Minneapolis expecting to pitch the first game of a double-header, but then was sent back to the hotel so Jose Fernandez could pitch the first game, in sunny conditions, with Nolasco pitching the second game.
“To be told two or 2 ½ hours before a start that you’re starting eight or nine hours from now [instead] is a bunch of [expletive],” agent Matt Sosnick said, adding this “is very much in line with the message the Marlins have sent to veteran players.”
Sosnick doesn’t blame the baseball staff: “I know it wasn’t the manager’s decision, and [front-office executives] Larry Beinfest and Mike Hill have too much integrity to make that type of call. Whoever made the choice would have to have so little social and emotional awareness that would totally have a lack of understanding of how it would affect Ricky and the manager.”
### Please follow me on Twitter: @flasportsbuzz