DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - When given a chance Friday to voice support for underachieving defensive end Dion Jordan, Miami Dolphins officials took a pass.
The overall No. 3 pick in the 2013 draft skipped voluntary workouts this week, raising questions about his status. He has yet to break into the starting lineup, and there’s speculation he’s on the trading block.
General manager Dennis Hickey and new executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum met with reporters to talk about next week’s draft, but the conversation quickly turned to Jordan’s absence from the workouts.
“We’re in the voluntary part of the offseason program, and we’re really happy with the attendance,” Tannenbaum said. “And if somebody chooses not to be here, that’s obviously their decision.”
Later, after Hickey talked about the need to draft players who love football, he and Tannenbaum were asked if Jordan had that kind of love for the game. There was an awkward pause as Hickey and Tannenbaum looked at each other.
“This is a pre-draft (news conference),” Hickey finally said. “We’ll talk about the draft.”
Do the Dolphins expect Jordan to attend mandatory workouts when they begin?
“Look, I think what we’re expecting now is to just get through this press conference,” said Tannenbaum, with a nervous chuckle. “We’ll deal with other issues down the road, and I’m sure there will be plenty of those to deal with.”
Former general manager Jeff Ireland drafted Jordan, who has only three career sacks and sat out the first six games without pay last year for twice violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
While little light was shed on his status, Hickey and Tannenbaum weren’t much more forthcoming about the draft. The Dolphins have the 14th pick in the first round, and they’re in the market for help at receiver, cornerback, guard and linebacker, which makes their choice difficult to predict.
Three receivers - Amari Cooper of Alabama, Kevin White of West Virginia and DeVante Parker of Louisville - are expected to be drafted before the Dolphins’ turn comes, and there has been speculation they’ll trade up to select one.
“We want to be as flexible as possible,” Tannenbaum said. “Hopefully there will be opportunities to go up and down. I know there has been a lot said about moving up, but we could go the other way as well.”
Tannenbaum declined to say whether the Dolphins have narrowed their likely pick to two or three players.
“Based on my experience, if we’re at 14, there will probably be 12 players that we love,” Tannenbaum said. “And then you sit there and you hope.”
The Dolphins have spent months ranking those players on their draft board. Is it set?
“We are finalizing that,” Hickey said. “There will be minor tweaks.”
“The board,” added Tannenbaum, “is firmly etched in pencil.”
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