Ja’Wuan James & The Miami Dolphins


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You could say that my opinion and assessment of the Miami Dolphins 2014 draft has been honest.  You may not agree with it but it is my opinion and frankly as an overall, I wasn’t thrilled and felt that Dennis Hickey could have drafted better.  To me this draft had too much of a Joe Philbin feel and that could work in these youngsters favor.  If he wanted them, there is no reason why he won’t play them.

Over the next several days I will steer away from the negative vibe I have for this draft and instead concentrate on how these players can help the Miami Dolphins win.  In other words,  I’ll take a stab at being positive.  Honest but positive.  Regardless of reach, draft position or ratings and grades, each player taken in the draft has potential.  Potential helps build champions.  So does coaching but that is an entirely different conversation.  Be warned though, while I will remain positive throughout these next seven articles my opinion does not necessarily change 100%.  So when I do come back at some point with an article that may not be so favorable to Hickey, I’m not being a hypocrite.

I will start this off with Ja’Wuan James of Tennessee.  Taken 19th overall by the Dolphins, James should start immediately on the right side of the line of scrimmage.  He is not made to play guard so you can pencil him in at tackle.  The Dolphins entered the draft with glaring holes, not weaknesses, on the right side of that line.  James has big school playing time and the transition to the NFL should go smoother for him than fellow rookie Billy Turner.  You do have to love SEC players.

James is a quick lineman for his size and can handle the outside edge well.  He is fully capable of keeping DE’s out of the back-field and that is an important need for the Dolphins who gave up 58 sacks last season with a good portion of those coming from the right side.  James is also solid in run blocking and I like the way he is able to pull off blocks and then chart his next opponent at the next level.  More importantly James has the right mental make-up for the next level.

If James can indeed progress at the NFL level the Dolphins will have a lock down on the right side for the next four years or more.

Off the field, James is a quality practice player and locker room leader.  He won’t be asked to lead but will find that it is in his nature.  He won’t be pushed around into doing things he knows are not right or let others do the same.  James will also quickly get acclimated to the teams playbook.  He should fit in well with the speed of the West Coast style of play and give Ryan Tannehill a lot more time than he had last year.  The only downside to James at this point is  the fact that he only plays the tackle position so if  he struggles, learning a new position could hurt his development.

Despite the fact that James was drafted in round one, he will still need to compete with both Shelley Smith and Nate Garner for first team.  The Dolphins will give him every opportunity to make that happen.  James’ biggest test will come against stronger DE’s but he will learn from one of the best, Cameron Wake.  If James can learn to keep his head up at all times and can hold off Wake then he will have a strong chance to get stronger as the season progresses.

Tags: Ja'Wuan James Miami Dolphins

  • tpl

    James was a great draft pick. 49 starts at RT. He will start at RT from day 1.

  • LostSok

    The only problem I have with (some) SEC players is that many get stuck behind other high-rated high school kids. I don’t care how highly rated you are, there’s no substitute for starting. James is the best of both worlds: a big-conference kid that played four years.

    The only reason he was rated as low as he was is purely due to positional bias. That he’s a pure RT makes him less “valuable” in the draft. UNLESS…you have an offensive line that was utterly undone in part due miserable play at right tackle.

  • Johnny

    Shelly Smith is a Guard!!! Why would he battle him ??

    • txmedic5

      Shelley Smith is being projected to work out at tackle.

      • Johnny

        He’s only been a Guard… A back-up guard at that..

  • Johnny

    Not good when you draft the 56th and 8th ranked Tackle with your first round pick…. Could have picked S Ha-Ha who was BPA and a need.. And STILL get James in the 2nd round…
    And what happens when Albert goes down with an injury (which seems to happen a lot).. James ONLY PLAYED RIGHT TACKLE HIS WHOLE COLLEGE CAREER…. Terrible reach, terrible pick.. Atleast we have a Right Tackle… That’s it..

    • Matthew Marcella

      But James never missed a game and has a whole lot of experience which we need.

      • Johnny

        That’s a good part.. He started all 49 games at RIGHT Tackle..

    • Johnny

      And don’t get me wrong… James is and will be a good RIGHT Tackle for many years to come…. Usually I would like a LEFT Tackle (like last years top 3) to start at RIGHT Tackle and eventually move to LEFT Tackle when the starting Left Tackle is gone… Like in our case.. Brandon Albert not young and he’s injury prone… What happens if he goes down with an injury??? You see what I’m saying???

      • Frank B13

        This is why we drafted Billy Turner whom I believe could step in if Brandon gets hurt. Ja’Wuan is a Top Rated RT and that’s EXACTLY what we needed!!! I think by drafting a true RT who was a captain and overall good person he will ez right into the NFL.It was a slight reach but imagine if they traded back and couldn’t get their man. Go Fins

        • Johnny

          Turner??? A Small School kid asked to play LT vs NFL rushers?? IDK.. I believe he will be projected to play Guard.. Right Guard..

          • Frank B13

            I agree w/ you as a guard (RG) but I still think Turner in a pinch(for a couple games this year)can play LT, but he does need coaching and time to do it full time. GO FINS

  • Buckeye Finfan

    I don’t normally do this but I was so offended by the NFL
    video of Michael Sam kissing and cuddling his boyfriend and the act of repeatedly
    pushing that agenda on us with the constant replays that I feel it necessary to
    speak up. I don’t know about you but the
    video actually made me nauseous. People
    are free to live any lifestyle they choose whether I agree or not but there are
    lines of public decency that should not be crossed nor should that lifestyle be
    forced on those who disagree.

    So I took a moment of my time today to call the NFL and they
    actually have an extension for leaving a comment and the operator very kindly
    transferred me to leave my message. I
    simply expressed my thoughts to them about the video and added that the NFL was
    no longer safe for family viewing. If
    they continued down this path they risk alienating a large segment of their
    audience and losing viewers. I
    encouraged them to get back to the game of football and leave behind the
    politics and Liberal Agenda.

    Here is the number: (212) 450-2000

    Additionally, I would encourage people to call the Miami
    Dolphins organization as well. Their
    number is (305) 943-8000. They will
    verbally take your opinion and are very politely receptive to it. The reason I called them is because they
    suspended and fined a player (Safety Don Jones) for a tweet in reference to the
    Michael Sam video. The tweet simply
    said, “OMG – Terrible”. There
    was no hate or name calling yet they took a severe action against him for
    simply expressing his opinion on his own time.
    I would also point out that many players in the NFL made hateful
    comments against Tim Tebow for his religious views yet not a single player was
    reprimanded for it.

    If enough people speak up it could have a positive impact.