Dion Jordan Suspended for 2015, Oakland Raiders Winners of 2013 Draft Trade
By Chase Ruttig
When the Oakland Raiders accepted a trade down deal with the Miami Dolphins during the 2013 NFL Draft, a deal that ended with the Dolphins taking Dion Jordan before Reggie McKenzie selected DJ Hayden later in the first round for Oakland, many thought that the ‘Phins had won the trade. Miami getting a highly regarded pass rusher while the Raiders took a shot at a top cornerback who came with serious injury concerns after a near death practice injury sidelined him for the majority of his Senior season at the University of Houston.
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Those opinions that the Dolphins came out with the better deal continued following the 2013 season when Hayden went down to injury early on in his rookie season while Jordan played in all 16 games, amassing only two sacks which was still enough to have people calling the trade a success for Miami’s front office. DJ Hayden being slapped with the ‘bust’ label far too early in his career.
Since 2013 however, the two players attached by a first round trade have went in different directions. Hayden returning from his injury problems to make a handful of big plays at cornerback in his second season in Oakland while Jordan was suspended for four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy in a season where he had just one sack for the Dolphins. People who were quick to praise the Dolphins for the Jordan trade backtracking as the former Oregon pass rusher started to see his career unravel last season.
Now with the news that Jordan will be suspended for the entire 2015 season it appears that the Raiders deserve some credit for passing on the pass rusher and trading down back in 2013. Reggie McKenzie missing out on a player who has been a disaster for the Dolphins and will now sit the entire season for a diluted urine sample according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Jordan not appealing a suspension that will sit him for all 16 games this upcoming season. An outcome that makes Reggie McKenzie look wise for skipping on Jordan, even if Hayden has had some injury problems mixed in with occasionally solid play at the cornerback position for the Raiders.
Jordan’s time in Miami appears to be done while the Raiders have big plans in the cards for Hayden in 2015 where he will likely be getting consistent starts yet again in his third season. Health has been an issue for the cornerback, but if you compared the two players who were picked in the 2013 draft day trade it would be hard not to say that Reggie McKenzie didn’t win the deal. With Jordan sitting all of 2015, analysts as well as fans who ripped McKenzie may owe the general manager an apology with the Raiders getting value from a team who reached far too high to get a player who has struggled on and off the field since going third overall. If you let the Dolphins go back in time, there is likely no way that they would do things over again, making the Raiders clear winners for trading down, even if Hayden never reaches the next level of his career.