When the comissioner announced that the Miami Dolphins had acquired the third overall pick, the first player that came to mind was offensive tackle Lane Johnson. I know I wasn't alone there.
Based on the Dolphins draft strategy of the past, it seemed likely that the team would once again draft for need and upgrade at the most glaring hole on the roster. Instead, Jeff Ireland surprised us all and selected Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan who is considered to be the best defensive player in this draft. As it turned out, the strategy was not drafting for need. The Dolphins plan all along was to take the best player available or the player they most coveted, even if it meant trading additional picks.
There are many reasons to be excited about the selection of Dion Jordan. First of all, he's a playmaker. Jordan has the size and speed to get to the quarterback, not only for the sack, but to force turnovers as well. Second, the Dolphins realize that there is only one way to re-take the AFC East crown and dethrone the Patriots; ensure that there is constant pressure on Tom Brady. If Jordan shows even glimpses of Jason Taylor, his pro comparison, the tandem of Wake and Jordan will create chaos on a weekly basis and be a nightmare for the opposition.
The Dolphins have also scouted Jordan for over two years, in case he declared for the 2012 draft, Miami wanted to be prepared. Due to this extensive amount of scouting, the Dolphins must have been very confident in Jordan's abilities to trade up and select him with the third overall pick. Jordan was the top player on Miami's board, they wanted him, they did what was required to make sure he was a Dolphin.
Following Jordan on the Dolphins top secret list draft board, were not safe selections of offensive and defensive lineman, there were more play makers. Tavon Austin was high on the Dolphins board, not as high as Jordan of course, but there was significant interest. If it weren't for the Bills trying to make certain that Austin did not land in the AFC East, there is a good chance Miami would have selected him. 8th overall is fair value for Austin, however there were better players available at 3rd overall.
One round into the draft, its clear the Dolphins are targeting play makers. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues in the last six rounds and Miami's 9 remaining picks.