There are going to be times next year, mostly in passing situations, where the Dolphins will be able to kick Jared Odrick inside and turn up the heat. Kevin Coyle, if he so chooses, is going to be able to cook up some pretty crazy sub-packages to pressure the quarterback.
If it’s all just a game of chess, Dion Jordan is a damn good piece, who, as he adjusts, should be able to be used all over the field.
ESPN’s Matt Williamson, in fact, recently told The Finsiders that the Dolphins’ rookie may create the most mismatches initially by dropping back into coverage, using his extraordinary athleticism to take on an opponent’s premier seam threat.
“He might actually be able to be a Gronkowski and Hernandez killer,” Williamson said. “He might do some of his best work in the division as a coverage player. He lined up in the slot against receivers that were 5’10″ last year. I think he can move and run with Gronkowski and Hernandez. That’s an odd bird.”
In the short term, Jordan’s arrival could free things up for Cameron Wake, who, in the absence of another attention-grabbing rusher, has had to deal with double teams, tight end chips, all while still drawing a high number of offensive holding penalties.
Though his sack totals have fluctuated during his four seasons in Miami, Wake has been one of the best, most consistent pressure players in football. In 2012, Wake rushed the quarterback 531 times, according to Pro Football Focus, pressuring him 86 times; he then finished off 15 of those pressures by bring down the quarterback for a sack. Jordan’s arrival may not affect Wake’s sack total — 15 sacks will be a hard number to duplicate — but by theoretically diverting some of the offense’s attention to the rookie’s side of the field, Wake may be able to take advantage and be even more efficient.
Williamson likened it to the way we traditionally think of receivers. A team normally has a No. 1 guy and then surrounds him with complementary players to fill out the roster. With the acquisition of Jordan, Williamson said, the Dolphins could potentially end up with two top defensive ends.
“Now with Jordan, you don’t have to rush him into things, but I think he can also be a No. 1,” Williamson said. “There’s not many teams in the league that I can say, ‘Wow, they’ve got two No. 1 edge pass rushers.”
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