The Miami Dolphins wanted a trial by fire for rookie Ryan Tannehill in 2012, but they’re not willing to take the same risk with pass rusher Dion Jordan, as they plan to bring along the rookie slowly — primarily as a third-down rusher this year.
According to the Palm Beach Post, the organization will slowly bring Jordan along. It’s assumed Cameron Wake and Jared Odrick will fulfill the pass rush duties until they feel the No.3 overall pick is ready. Combining for 20.0 sacks in 2012, the weak link is Odrick, but he’s capable to fill the job in a temporary role.
Starting from a third-down position doesn’t preclude Jordan from being a difference maker. The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks have had recent success by allowing Aldon Smith and Bruce Irvin respectively to rush on obvious passing downs. While it’s unconventional to see it from a third-overall pick, especially when the Dolphins traded up for Jordan — it could pay dividends in the long term.
It remains to be seen if the decision to sideline Dion Jordan early is a byproduct of his injury. In February it was announced he sustained a torn labrum, and while he’ll be back to full participation during the late-Summer, there’s a lot to be said for waiting, and keeping the future of the team’s pass healthy.
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