Dolphins Draft Ja’Wuan James OT At 19


To say that the Miami Dolphins selection of offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James was underwhelming would be an under-statement.  In reality, the selection of an offensive tackle was set up by Miami Dolphins GM Dennis Hickey’s failure to address the position during free agency.

The Dolphins spent almost the entire 10 minutes trying to trade the pick.  One pick later the Arizona Cardinals traded their pick to New Orleans for the Saints number 27th spot and a 3rd round pick.  Two picks later the Browns traded up to 23 giving up their 26th in round one and a third round pick.

While James will definitely fill a hole for the Dolphins, there is no certainty that he will be an absolute day one starter.  James should develop into a solid NFL lineman but will he be a Pro-Bowler?  Will he unquestionably take the RT spot from Shelley Smith?

The Dolphins also likely could have had James later in round one making a trade down.  Ultimately the team has addressed the right side of their line but was James the right choice?

Tags: Ja'Wuan James Miami Dolphins NFL Draft

  • DragonFly34

    JuWuan started 49 games in the SEC, who does a good job with pass protection and is a mauler in run blocking. Who cares if he makes the pro bowl or not, as long as he can block, thats the only prerequisite.

    • Miami Jules (Julian)

      YESSSSS!!!!!!! Finally! We are in the minority Dragon but it’s OK, I never let the Ireland fans hear the end of trading UP to get a luxury pick when we needed secondary and most importantly OL help, but it’s good to find someone I can relate to… I was chased out of Twitter tonight by a sticks wielding and stones throwing mob, after I dared to say I was happy…. why are they so mad anyway?

      • DragonFly34

        Most of these Dolfans want some “splash” or the sexy draft pick. I was sold on Mosley being there, but that was not to be. BUT,,,I also believe in the BPA, I know that,,most teams do very well drafting the BPA instead of drafting a need and Im sure Hickey is between a rock and a hard place. We will see. I like James, the guy is a mauler and best of all he’s a footballer. You can’t argue with the fact he started 49 games in the SEC that alone is a amazing.

        • DragonFly34

          P/S, you don’t think Philbin had anything to do with this pick,,do you? After that fiasco between Ireland, Dawnho, and Philbin, I’ll bet the mortgage that Hickey is under tremendous pressure, and didn’t Ross state months ago they were drafting a RT?

          • Miami Jules (Julian)

            Dragon in my ever so humble opinion, if I’m happy, it’s all good… I just call them Philbin’s Hickey in my lame attempt at humor, but those issues only become a factor for me when we’re screwing up and I need to know who to blame… right now, My Dolphins are a bit better this morning and credit be to the goofy looking duo of Philbin and Hickey.

          • DragonFly34

            Philbins Hickey,,,pretty good,,I like Dawnhojoe, The front office fiasco is something the Dolphins will never live down,,,

          • Miami Jules (Julian)

            LOL… love the Arthur Lynch pick BTW… one of my responses to you disappear, unless I forgot to hit post… I was falling asleep as I was typing it.

        • txmedic5

          No I wanted value. James is not a “bad” pick but the Dolphins could have had a myriad of other lineman who didn’t go in the first round later in round one by trading down. Don’t let the fact that Hickey said they had offers but wanted James fool you. Miami could have traded down twice and still landed James, Kouandjio, or even the far more versatile Xavier Sua’ Filo.

          This pick fills a need and is a reach for this player at 19. Lineman selection? Yes, fill that need and given what was on the board it wasn’t sexy but is could have netted at least one extra day two pick if not two and still they could have addressed the right side of the line in round 1.

          • Miami Jules (Julian)

            I’m not sold on Kuoandjio’s knee or effort at the combine. I raved about Kuoandjio back in January but after the Combine, I got off his wagon… more like I jumped off, I switched to “Tiny” Richardson and James in the 3rd, but since I value a local’s perspective, after a chat with your own Eric Roddy who is from Tennessee, I shifted entirely towards Ja’Wuan and fell off the Richardson wagon completely, and concentrated on James, originally in the 3rd, consequently moving him to the 2nd, and then early 2nd/late 1st. The local perspective is what earned me some notoriety after I continuously raved about TY Hilton who played college down the street from my house at a college who didn’t benefit from a lot of national coverage (FIU), while most non-South Floridians were going “TY who???”, so at this time, I accept this award but I’d like to thank the academy and Mr. Eric Roddy for sharing his ever valuable local perspective.

          • DragonFly34

            Jules, Im not from Tenn,,,(so Fla) but I do know the SEC and if you have started 49 SEC games, that, in my book gives you value,,,and lots of it. Roddy and I have a good cop, bad cop relationship,,,loll, loll, loll, he doesnt understand my “tongue in cheek thing”,,,,I really think JuWuan is going to be a very good RT. And I was not aware Ty went to FIU.

          • DragonFly34

            Txmedic5, Wasn’t pointing fingers with the sexy remark,,,,,but, no one knows if JuWuan would be there in the second rd or not,,,,I heard the fall off of talent from the 12th pick thru 32nd pick was very significant. Seattle didn’t pick in the first rd they traded out.
            Now the talent level 2nd thru the 4th rd is very good,,for value and after watching drafts since I was in high school,,,I still don’t understand the value thing,,,if a team needs a RT why wait,,,there are no guarantees you will get your man,,so get ‘em while you can. I still remember the Ted Ginn pick,,,neither value nor sexy!!

        • Miami Jules (Julian)

          James was my guy at 30 (if trade down), Mosley at 19 (no trade) and value is overrated if one ends up missing out on a good solid prospect. I can not predict how James will translate to the pro’s, no one can… the list of draft day busts is a long, but that applies to anyone…

  • Johnny

    Can you say::: MAJOR REACH!!! Disappointed that they couldn’t trade down… Obviously asking too much since NO traded up to Zona with the very next pick… I think they could have easily traded back and still get James… He was originally a 2nd – 3rd round player.. Not sure he would be available at 50..
    The only good thing is that he started all 49 games in his career… Which means he’s durable.. That’s the only thing.. He played RT his whole career and can play some Guard… But overall, it’s a big reach… With CJ Mosley gone and not being able to trade down??? You get a James…
    Get G Yankey and call it a draft…
    What happened????
    Hickey was scared to NOT Address the OLine with his 1st pick in his first draft.
    ( btw. why take RT from Shelly Smith, isn’t he a Guard??)

    • Johnny

      Atleast he’s durable and played all 49 games… Hickey says he targeted him the whole time.. I doubt that…

      • David Thompson

        I dunno I’m buying Hickey’s interest in James. Pro-day/Combine meetings, visit, there were reports like a week ago saying the Dolphins were rating James as a 1st round tackle. I mean is it a reach? Yeah definitely but not a huge one and its not at all in the sense that this was the only pick we had a chance to get him,if he was the target.

        I guess I’m ok with the pick. Don’t get me wrong I like James and I’m fine with him as a first round pick, I was just so pissed when I saw 2 teams get 3rds to move down. THAT was a mistake by Hickey, not to take a deal to move down. James wasn’t going anywhere, we didn’t need to stand pat.

        • Miami Jules (Julian)

          If James was indeed out target, and I have reason to believe he was, then not risking it may have been the prudent thing to do…additionally, the Chemistry that exists between Dallas Thomas and James, can only help us in whichever way. Smile everyone, this draft wasn’t too bad, actually not bad at all.

      • Miami Jules (Julian)

        Actually it has been widely reported that the Phins had their eyes on both Bitonio and Turner for a while.

    • Miami Jules (Julian)

      Well Johnny, someone didn’t stop by my party…. there was only 2 of us but we’re nice… I’m OK with the draft pick … at least it isn’t as bad as trading up for a luxury pick if you get my meaning.

      • Miami Jules (Julian)

        PS and no, I can not say major overreach, much like Chip Kelley got at 26 someone ranked in the 50′s… which may qualify as an overreach. Miami was just going after our man… smile Johnny, the Dolphins are getting better and we’ve only just begun… Cheers!

        • Johnny

          Well… OLine can’t get worse.. Or can they??? Hey.. I like WR Landry atleast… Trading up for Turner was a mistake.. I think Hickey panicked when Moses came off the board, then traded up… He was another reach.. Small School Tackles goes against Small School rushers… Mayne he’ll pan out as a decent Guard…
          But.. What I wanted in the 1st round WAS A LT WHO WILL PLAY RT DAY 1… And if Albert goes down (which happens), he would be able to step in… WITH JAMES, WE GOT A RT ONLY.. (Played 49 games at RT only).. What happens if Albert gets injured??? You know???

          • David Thompson

            Billy Turner was an LT. There’s still FA time left and McKinney would be an above avg backup.

          • Johnny

            Better hurry up… Not too many left..

          • Miami Jules (Julian)

            The Phins have had their eyes on Turner for sometime. No, he wasn’t my pick BUT I didn’t have the advantage of being present at his work out either (at least they didn’t pick Seantrel Henderson), and please bare in mind they did end up with 2 picks in the 5th so after all the trading up and down, they ended up with more picks. Here’s the thing, perhaps lost in the excitement, is the fact we grabbed a stud TE IMO in Arthur Lynch, and while he wasn’t my absolute 1st choice at that position, here’s what I wrote about my choice for TE on my final mock:

            “112- C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE- The rankings have affected the tight end position and while some TE’s have trended up in the last few days, some have moved down, however, should Fiedorowicz not be there for us in the 4th, either Arthur Lynch or Crocket Gilmore should be there and I happen to like them both.”

            Now keep in mind, that Mr. Lynch is as blue-collar as they come and with some development an be fairly reliable as an in-line blocker. He is a position ball catcher and while he isn’t going to leave defenders in a cloud of dust he’s going to fight for the ball which should be helped by the fact he is 6’5″. It isn’t that bad, as a matter of fact, and to further add to you peace of mind, there are a lot really good prospect left as UFA’s and I’m very interested in finding out who is being brought into training camp. I’m good man.

      • Johnny

        Jules … I don’t mind the player.. (Even though he shows up overweight)… But I would have preferred a LT… Who can start at RT.. And if needed, start at LT if Albert goes down… But.. We reached for a guy who JUST played Right Tackle.. You know???

        • Johnny

          If that was the case and they ONLY wanted a RT.. They could have got Mewhort in the 3rd.. Maybe take Ha-Ha.. Safety is a need..

          • Miami Jules (Julian)

            LOVE Mewhort … well, not anymore! Now he is a member of another team. They interviewed they guy (James). liked him, and went after him… theres’ was probably no consolation prize, and if by trading down, we would’ve ended up missing out on him, it would’ve messed the entire plan.

      • Johnny

        Hey I didn’t get an invitation… I do like the WR Landry pick.. You know I like big WRs.. But Landry is a baller.. A physical scrappy WR.. Only heard good things about him…
        YOU HAVE TO WATCH THE 2 CRAZY, AMAZING CATCHES HE PULLED IN VS ARKANSAS… Check it out..

  • Miami Jules (Julian)

    I had 3 sets of mocks on my FB page, one, what I thought the Dolphins were going to do… I had Martin. The other one, what I would like to do, I had Mosley, and the last one, what I would do if trading down to 30, I had JaWuan James… the way I see it, there wasn’t a lot left on the board which probably left possible trading teams less than eager to offer something of value in return… the Eagles drafted only 7 spots lower than us and reached for someone ranked in the 50′s … I don’t think Hickey was scared of the fans, but he might’ve been scared to miss out on someone he really liked… it’s better to go out for who you want that to focus on the deal like others in the past… one can “deal” themselves out of possible contention if one focuses on the wrong thing… look at it this way, I think overreaching is better than trading up for a luxury pick when we have obvious issues at other spots.

    • David Thompson

      See this is what I don’t get, how do fans get upset over a “reach” when the pick the team took the player was the only pick the team had where they could have landed him. Everyone who wanted an O lineman should be happy. First LTs aren’t all going to make the transition to RT effectively and very few will their first year. James has TACKLE size (*ahem Martin*), is a good, durable player who will be able to walk right into his role. What’s not to like?

      • Miami Jules (Julian)

        YES!!! Again, there’s a lot of hate going around towards Hickey and a lot of “We should’ve hired Ray Farmer’s” but who did the Browns get? A cornerback and Johnny ‘Football” Manziel, and these fans say that Farmer did better? C’mon man! LOL! Yes, I would’ve loved if we would’ve traded down to 30 and gotten an additional 3rd round pick but, it is what it is, and with the players left on the board by the time the Dolphins picked, they probably weren’t offering the Dolphins much in return, and there was that risk, Ja’Wuan would’ve been gone by 30… I am as happy as a clam in knowing my Dolphins are better this morning as my approval rating for Hickey/Philbin continues to rise… I can’t wait until tonight… I hope it’s an epic evening!

      • Pygskyn

        Whats not to like is that we could have definitely had both him and a third rounder. I’m less against the actual pick, but feel like we seriously wasted an opportunity to Garner a second 3rd round pick. That extra pick would have given us firepower to either move up in the second and grab Sua’Filo and REALLY make the O-Line formidable everywhere from left to right, or combine them to move up to a high third or low second round pick, grab a guy like Borland (whom I believe is the next Zach Thomas) and have the freedom to go BPA at 50 (who might still be Sua’Filo… but not likely to fall that far.)

        • David Thompson

          Completely agree with that, mentioned it in my other comment.

  • JimzDogz

    I was a little surprised by the James pick, I was really hoping for a trade down. Then picking James would have been perfect. I can only guess they were afraid he wouldn’t be there at 27. After getting over the disappointment of not trading back, I’m ok with the pick. I believe James will step into the starting RT spot and play very well this season. Good job Mr. Hickey, a good solid pick.

  • tpl

    My guess is they were asking too much to trade down. Should have settled for a later first and a third. But, James is a good pick. I think he’s the starting right tackle from day one.

  • Johnny

    Carlos Hyde made it to 50!!!!!! And they traded back… He’s an all-around RB.. 3-down back… Man!!
    man