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Dolphins Bolster Entire Defense in One Bold Move

Image Courtesy of www.USAToday.com

Nobody could’ve predicted this move, or seen it coming.  Miami was sitting at the number 12 selection and the analysts had the ‘Fins trying to move up to take one of the top three Offensive Tackles in the draft.  Picks one and two came off the board, and only one offensive tackle was left out of the top three.  The announcement came through that Miami had traded up into the number three spot, and it went without saying that Lane Johnson would be the player coming off the board at number three overall.  The commissioner walked to the podium, announced the trade between Miami and Oakland, and finished with: “…The Miami Dolphins select: Dion Jordan, Defensive End, Oregon,” and the analysts went crazy.  Once they settled down, the analysts began throwing words around like: “Gamechanger,” “Difference maker” “Beautifully disruptive off the edge,” etc.

Once the dust settled, the news got better from there.  Miami gave up the number twelve selection, and a second round pick, to jump from number twelve to number three.  On the trade value chart that most “experts” adhere to, that should have cost the ‘Fins a pick (or combination there-of) in the neighborhood of one thousand points.  The “value” associated with what Miami gave up to move up was less than half that value.  That is a HUGE win in the value department.The ‘Fins may have only made one selection on day one of the draft, but it’s safe to say that the Dolphins went heavy on Defense in Day 1.  That may sound a little odd, with only the one selection, but they went with a player that makes the entire defense better.  Miami’s secondary got better with the selection of Dion Jordan.  Miami’s defensive line and pass rush got better.  Any time you can increase the pressure on the opposing quarterback, giving him less time to make a decision and to throw the ball, the entire defense increases exponentially in production.  You’ll see more turnovers generated, corners needing to stay with opposing receivers and tight ends for less time, linebackers being able to drop in coverage and becoming more effective on a blitz.  Miami’s front four may well be the best front four in the NFL.

How do you integrate Dion Jordan to maximize the potential of the line?  For starters, I think he begins the year on the sidelines on rushing downs.  The starting front four should be Odrick, Wake, Soliai and Starks.  On passing downs, Soliai comes off the field and Odrick moves inside, giving you an interior line that can push the pocket with Dion and Wake terrorizing quarterbacks off the edge.  There will be some serious blitzing lanes opened by teams straining to block the front four pushing through, over, around and under the blockers.

If I were a cornerback in this years draft, I would now be SALIVATING for Miami to select me in the next few rounds.  Existing in a division with Tom Brady would seem daunting, but Miami will also be playing two games apiece against the Jets and the Bills – that is enticing enough from a defensive back perspective, as the Jets will be starting… um… well…  ok, at least the Bills starting quarterback will be…  uhhhhh….  someone.  Additionally, in the games where teams manage to rattle Brady, he WILL make mistakes.  Do you see a single line in the NFL that can manhandle the Dolphins front four?  I think more often than not, the Dolphins front four are going to win the battle up front by a long shot, forcing opposing quarterbacks into making some serious mistakes.

With the Dolphins new found high powered offense, teams will be forced to throw the ball more to keep pace.  Which plays right into Miami’s front four talent.   If Miami can take some early leads, look for Cam, Dion & Co to tee off on opposing quarterbacks.  Miami’s secondary and linebacker corps will turn into ball hawks as mistakes are made.

I had to process this selection, but now that I’ve had a night to process it, I absolutely love this pick.  Miami could use some help in a few areas, but I have faith in them finding that via the draft, a few trades, or some of the remaining free agents that are still sitting out there.  Miami is building to be high powered on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, and I couldn’t be more excited.