When the Seattle Seahawks signed Dion Jordan this summer after the Miami Dolphins bust missed most of the last two seasons battling knee injuries and drug suspensions, many of us figured he was a longshot to make the regular season roster given the steep defensive line competition, and any contribution the Seahawks got from Jordan this year would be a pleasant surprise. When setbacks from offseason surgery cost Jordan the entirety of training camp, we probably all mentally said goodbye to the Dion Jordan reclamation effort.
But Seattle held on, stashing the 2013 first round pick on the non-football injury list and keeping the option available to play Jordan at some point in 2017. Well Jordan got his postdated Seahawks debut at last against the Arizona Cardinals Thursday night and boiiii stop!
Jordan on first down from the giant red bird head in the fourth quarter exploded through Cardinals left tackle John Wetzel like a hungry 10 year old pushing open the glass doors of a taco shop. I can’t claim that Wetzel secretly desired to be treated like a blocking sled but on this play Jordan made him look born and bred for the role.
Jordan front pressed Wetzel to the ground and tumbled himself into Drew Stanton’s knees for a colossal sack. It was the headlining play in an amazingly efficient game for Jordan, who achieved pressure on almost 30 percent of his pass rush downs.
Dion Jordan played in 32 snaps in his first game of the season.— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) November 10, 2017
17 pass rushes
29.4% pressure rate - the best of his NFL career
But it was more than flashing value on limited run, like we have already seen from Branden Jackson and Marcus Smith already in Seattle this year. Jordan was also an effective volume player, playing nearly as many run downs as pass rush opportunities after being pressed into probably more duty than planned once Jarran Reed exited the game early on with a pulled hamstring and later Frank Clark suffered a thigh bruise. In all, Jordan played 33 snaps, both on the end and the interior.
That’s a pretty useful injection of talent into the rotation especially if any of the defensive line injuries last beyond the Seahawks’ 11-day off period before the November 20 showdown against the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons. And it is an admirable story for Jordan, whose history of personal struggle and self-determination to change his choices probably appealed to Pete Carroll.
The questions about Jordan’s character and physical fitness seem way behind him now, and though we may not see performance exactly like this every week for the big front four weapon he certainly appears a timely addition to Seattle’s ailing defensive unit.