NFL Draft: 'Blind faith' guides Jordan, who becomes the highest Arizonan ever taken in NFL Draft

Oregon, Chandler HS product Jordan taken No. 3 overall by Miami
2013-04-26T00:00:00Z 2013-04-26T08:40:13Z NFL Draft: 'Blind faith' guides Jordan, who becomes the highest Arizonan ever taken in NFL DraftRichard Obert The Arizona Republic Arizona Daily Star
April 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Former Chandler High School standout Dion Jordan was the third overall pick of the NFL Draft on Thursday, becoming the highest Arizona prep product taken in a major sports draft since ex-Phoenix Shadow Mountain point guard Mike Bibby was the No.2 NBA pick in 1998.

The Miami Dolphins traded their Nos. 12 and 42 picks to the Oakland Raiders to take the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Jordan, who played defensive end and outside linebacker at Oregon.

Jordan was a receiver at Chandler in 2007 before a fire accident ended his football season midway through.

Jordan, who also excelled in the hurdles in high school, overcame the accident that left him with third-degree burns on his arms and legs, followed by skin grafts. He also adjusted to a position change in college. As a senior, Jordan posted 44 tackles, 10 1/2 tackles for loss and five sacks. He was considered one of the top players available in this year's draft.

The three-day event continues today with rounds No. 2 and 3.

"I'd love to tell you I could see this coming," said Jim Ewan, who was the head football coach at Chandler during Jordan's high school career. "But what I realized back then was how driven he was. I knew that he was going to be one of the absolute best athletes I ever had a chance to work with. He works so hard in the weight room and in practice. You knew he would be successful."

Jordan was surrounded by family for the draft.

"I'm surprised, very blessed," Jordan told ESPN after Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the Dolphins had chosen him. "I'm just ready to get in and work with the guys."

After the accident during his senior football season at Chandler that laid him up in a burn unit for a month, Jordan said he never had any doubt that he could get to the highest level in football.

"It was kind of more motivation," he said in an interview last week. "It humbled me much more than I was before. It motivated me to work harder."

Jordan said he was glad that he came back for his senior season at Oregon, where he showed great speed on the edge, and the ability to cover and pass rush.

Jordan had an impressive showing at the NFL combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, the third-fastest time among defensive ends. He underwent shoulder surgery after the combine.

"The fact that I decided to come back for my senior year and be around my team, do what we did at Oregon, I felt that had a huge impact on everything that is going on now," Jordan said. "You never really know. I had blind faith."

Today

• What: Rounds 2 and 3

• TV: 3:30 p.m. on ESPN; 5 p.m. on ESPN2

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