The Jordan Rules: Dolphins' Bold Move In Draft Reflects Franchise's New Direction
The Dolphins in the past have "tried to make themselves relevant by flirting with celebrities or funky-colored carpets rolled out in front of their stadium," but the team's trade to select Oregon DE Dion Jordan with the No. 3 pick in last night's NFL Draft is the latest evidence of the club "doing it with bold football moves that belie the philosophy of the past," according to Armando Salguero of the MIAMI HERALD. Jordan is someone Dolphins player personnel execs "have been drooling over since 2011." Salguero: "Is this a gamble? Maybe." The Dolphins in past years have "picked NFL-ready guys over projects," but they "went a different direction this time." The team lately has been known for "being vanilla, for doing the safe thing, for seeming content with being just mediocre." But the Dolphins in picking Jordan "passed on a chance to pick a safe player who someday might be good in order to grab a player that has the chance to someday be great" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/26). In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde writes it was a "good night" for Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland, as the trade was "exactly the kind of first-round surprise the Dolphins haven't sprung in years and precisely what you wanted." Trading up from the 12th pick overall to select Jordan was the "boldest move of Thursday's first round." You "have to like Ireland’s thinking, even if you don’t know whether Jordan will work out" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 4/26).
NOT SOLD ON THINGS: In Miami, Greg Cote writes the Dolphins "needed a selection -- especially after a big trade-up -- that excited or at least stood out as unequivocally solid and smart." What they "did not need (especially after a big trade-up) was the kind of pick that made fans look at each other and go 'Huh?'" This draft is "important for a club not only trying to win games, but trying to win back fans." Trying to "reassert itself in a market it once owned, but a market usurped by LeBron James and the champion Heat." Cote: "I’m not sure Miami’s first-round decision Thursday night delivered on that." But whether that "doubt is about Jordan or about Ireland remains to be seen" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/26). In Florida, David Moulton writes if picking QB Ryan Tannehill last year in the first round is Ireland’s “legacy,” Jordan now will “determine his fate.” It was a “huge gamble” to trade up nine spots to take Jordan. Ireland with the selection is “trying to mine greatness where most everyone else said there is none to be found” (NAPLES DAILY NEWS, 4/26). In West Palm Beach, Dave George writes trading up to pick Jordan may be “too much of a reach, but to be fair, those same doubts were voiced here last year” with the Tannehill selection. But that is how Ireland “operates, or so it seems now that we’ve finally gotten to see him operating confidently and without restrictions” (PALM BEACH POST, 4/26).
THE NEW DUDS: In Miami, Adam Beasley notes the Dolphins "officially debuted their new duds at their annual draft party Thursday night." The Dolphins said that the color scheme is a "return to the original aqua and orange, and the logo is a fresh take on the iconic elements: the sun and the Dolphin." Dolphins CEO Mike Dee said, "It’s probably one of the more active and historical offseason days in Dolphins history. On the image, the feedback to what’s been available has been overwhelmingly positive" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/26). But ESPN.com's Paul Lukas wrote the new uniform combination "unfortunately feels like a step back." The Dolphins' helmets and pants "always had really bold, unique stripe patterns, anchored by a center stripe of orange that made the whole thing pop." But the new helmet and pants striping is "mostly aqua, with just a hint of orange." The orange outlining on the uniform numbers is "less prominent, too. Disappointing." Players now will "wear 'Miami' on the back of their pants," which is a "college football move." The number font "looks seriously goofy" (ESPN.com, 4/25).
THIS I PROMISE YOU: The HERALD's Beasley reports the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee is promising an "urban carnival" should Miami land either the '16 or '17 Super Bowl. The city's Biscayne Boulevard would be "transformed into a mile-long street party, featuring live concerts, a Ferris wheel and more." South Florida officials on Thursday released the "schematics for downtown Miami's temporary makeover" for the Super Bowl. AmericanAirlines Arena would be "used to host events, meaning the Heat would need to give up their home for at least the weekend." The "broad strokes are out, and they paint a far different picture than Super Bowls held in South Florida in the past." The bid would make downtown Miami the event’s "urban core; South Beach and Broward County were not included in the renderings." The committee also is "in discussions with the league about bringing the Pro Bowl back" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/26). South Florida Super Bowl Bid Committee Chair Rodney Barretto said that when the presentation with NFL officials last weekend in N.Y was "concluded, it was met with a round of applause." In West Palm Beach, Brian Biggane reports it is "no coincidence that the festivities announced Thursday will closely involve many of the most prominent hotels in downtown Miami, a clear way to placate an industry that will be most affected by the vote in the form of bed-tax revenues, which will contribute as much as half of the cost of the stadium renovations" (PALM BEACH POST, 4/26).