Ja'Wuan James Selected 19th Overall?

       Now, to say anyone would be surprised by the Dolphins selecting an offensive lineman early in the 2014 NFL Draft would be a complete lie. After the unit posted up 58 sacks, and the makings of a tell-all book in form of a bullying scandal, conventional wisdom dictated the Dolphins would have to find at least one starter from the draft in order to help the O-line. 
The team had already signed Pro-Bowl left tackle Branden Albert, left guard Shelly Smith and added Jason Fox OT as a back-up/ camp competitor. Yet we needed to find a starter at either right tackle or guard; presuming Dallas Thomas, Nate Garner or Sam Brenner could fill the remaining spot. The Dolphins also went out and got one of the best position coaches for their scheme in John Benton.
However, very few thought we would be taking Ja’Wuan James OT Tennessee with the 19th overall selection. In fact, most experts had James as second or third round pick. This pick seems especially worrisome because Mr. Hickey stated multiple times to be taking a best player available approach. The first round was a beautiful opportunity to do just that. There was plenty of depth at offensive tackle well into the second and possibly third rounds.
Photo by AP

      We have also learned that Mr. Hickey was offered a trade back from 19 to a lower point in the draft and refused stating a fear of loss over James. However, no other offensive linemen were taken in the first round. Players like Morgan Moses, Cyrus Kouandjio, Joe Bitonio and a good number more of relative skill level will be available on day two.

The best player available approach would have landed us either Darqueze Dennard, even though corner is not a particular need, or Ha’Ha Clinton-Dix. Clinton-Dix was the top free safety of this class. While we signed Louis Delmas, he is often injured and has only finished one complete season in his career. Delmas is also on a one-year deal making it easy to let him go if his injury bug returns, while also having a viable rookie whom would be locked up for the next 4-5 years.
I think the most painful issue with the pick is that we were offered the trade back for extra picks and just didn’t take them. Ja’Wuan James is by all accounts an excellent right tackle that has all the right measurables to be a day one starter. But we could have made the exact same pick at any point in the round and we had the option to do so but failed to pull the trigger. Anyone who thought the days of reaching for need in the first round were gone with Jeff Ireland is sadly mistaken. Hopefully, Hickey can break the second round slump this franchise has seen. 


  1. If James is an excellent right tackle that has all the right measurables to be a day one starter than it wasn't a reach or wasted pick. RT has been a sore spot for years and if this kid solidifies the position for the next decade + than it was a solid pick. Could Darqueze Dennard or Clinton-Dix block Mario Williams for us?

  2. He's saying we still could have had James even if we traded back and got extra picks. Which we should have done.

  3. If he is as good as he looks then you cannot say he was going to last a few more picks. The fact that lower rated tackles were not taken after James means nothing. It's not even a logical idea.

  4. Had we moved back our first selection would hv been #50...and NO we would not hv gotten a day one starter that late sorry... I Do Not Agree with your OPINION!


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