Ja'Wuan James NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Miami Dolphins RT

Alex DunlapContributor IFebruary 26, 2014

Tennessee offensive lineman Ja'Wuan James (70) blocks Western Kentucky defensive lineman Raphael Cox (95) during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Wade Payne/Associated Press

Ja’Wuan James, RT, Tennessee, (HT: 6'6"; WT: 311 lbs)

Miami Dolphins

First Round: 19th Pick 



  • Like teammate Antonio "Tiny" Richardson, projects with scheme and concept versatility at the NFL level having played in both predominantly man-­power (2012) and zone (2013) concepts under different line coaches in consecutive collegiate years.
  • Shows terrific hustle and drive on the back side of zone plays when asked to take angles across an inside-aligned defender's face mask.
  • Good kick-slide with rhythmic resetting motions give the ability to generally mirror nicely in pass protection.
  • Long 82-­inch wingspan aids in strong initial punch in run game.
  • Shows the ability to get opponents off of him and counter many hand-­fighting techniques.
  • Can pass off stunting rushers to the inside and cleanly pick up the looping outside player with great recognition.
  • Has shown the ability to get upfield within Tennessee's 2013 zone-­blocking scheme and attack the play­-side half of second-­level defenders with great leverage.
  • Started every game of his college career (49 games total, a University of Tennessee record) at right tackle—even on offensive lines that featured high-­level competition and talent.
  • Ran the 10th-best short shuttle at the 2014 combine among offensive linemen.
  • Tied for the fifth-best vertical leap of all offensive linemen in Indianapolis for NFL testing.



  • Came into the Senior Bowl's National Scouting Weigh­-in looking flabby and clearly needing to add bulk and strength.
  • Was pulled from Senior Bowl practices after one day due to a sprained knee.
  • Can play too high at times.
  • Can leave his base wide open to being ripped or spun under and through by opposing pass­-rushers.
  • Shows a troublesome tendency to "lean" on opposing pass-­rushers once engaged and stops ladder­-drilling with his feet, which can result in giving up pressure.
  • Hand placement in pass protection is inconsistent and needs work to avoid holding penalties at the NFL level.
  • Can fall victim to an occasional tendency to play somewhat out­ of­ control and lose position in a variety of situations.
  • Seems much more comfortable with zone steps in inside-zone than on the play­-side of outside-zone calls, where he can be a clear liability.
  • What starts out as a very good motor can begin to peter off through games.
  • Much better at absorbing and handling agile defenders from a defensive position in pass protection than he is when attacking upfield on the offensive.
  • Seems to give up on plays when the defender does, fails to finish weak opposition with the brutal punishment he is capable of.
  • Only four players at the combine put up worse bench press numbers than James' very meager 22 reps.
  • Finished in the bottom quarter of offensive linemen that took part in the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis.


Personal Notes

  • Hometown is Suwanee, Ga.
  • Full name: Ju'Wuan Amir James.
  • Born on June 3rd, 1992 in Atlanta, Ga.
  • Parents are Nichelle James­-Mickens and Burkley James.
  • Graduated from Tennessee with a degree in Arts and Sciences.
  • Takes martial arts classes to aid in footwork and movement skills.

Ratings Chart



Perhaps James' disappearance from Senior Bowl activities, coupled with his sharing the spotlight with line­mate Antonio Richardson, has resulted in the NFL draft media sleeping on James' talents.

James is a very large prospect who obviously has some physical development in his future, but he was a solid cog on a competitive SEC line for every contest of his college career. He has good feet and solid awareness.

The issues that continually crop up in James' game seem easily fixable with NFL coaching and a professional practice regimen. Evaluating James in-­depth was a pleasant surprise.


Draft Projection: 3rd-4th Round