With starting job for the taking, Ja’Wuan James hones his technique


Sometimes, first-round picks aren’t rushed into the starting lineup. Take, for instance, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, who’s ticketed for a backup role in his first NFL season.

In Miami, however, it looks quite likely that Dolphins first-rounder Ja’Wuan James will get every chance to learn on the job at right tackle in his first NFL season.

After his first day of rookie minicamp Friday, James indicated he was working to “sharpen up” on various teaching points shared by offensive line coach John Benton.

“Coach Benton has taught us a lot of different techniques, changing up stances, changing the first step, things like that. So I wanted to show him that I could do that, and just work on it,” James said, according to a transcript from the Dolphins.

The Dolphins’ rookie minicamp runs through Sunday. Next week, the club begins organized team activities, which will give James all the more opportunity to learn his craft. The mandatory minicamp — the Dolphins’ final organized work of the offseason — is slated for June 17-19.

In short, James and the Dolphins’ other rookies have less than four weeks to get immersed in Miami’s schemes before the summer break.

James’ readiness will be especially key for the Dolphins. If James wasn’t able to hold down the job in his first NFL season, the Dolphins could conceivably add a veteran right tackle like they did last May, when they signed Tyson Clabo. However, that would be a short-term solution. Ideally for Miami, James takes the job and runs with it. Such are the hopes — and expectations, even, in this case — when a first-rounder plays a position needing to be fortified.

21 responses to “With starting job for the taking, Ja’Wuan James hones his technique

  1. 49 starts at RT in the SEC. I think he’ll do just fine. The real question on that line will be if Billy Turner can transition from OT from a small school to starting G in the NFL.

  2. Biggest reach of the draft. Could have been had in the 3rd.

    People are very quick to call James a reach but Miami needed a RT and rated him highly. I have absolutely no problem with the pick – they stuck to their board. Many seem to far too eager to call him a bust without giving him a fair opportunity to show what he can do. He has a very good chance of being a significant upgrade on Jonathan Martin.
    Higher character too.

  3. Every mock draft I read had him no later than 2nd rd. SI, Kiper, McShay all him in 2nd. They couldn’t take the chance with Balt., Pittsburgh, Jets, etc. All needing RTs. Also, he is a RT, not a LT that has to be converted which is usually a problem or at least takes time. Great pick!

  4. Great pick. The best RT in the draft and the team’s biggest need. Anyone who thinks taking a RT at 19 is a reach, needs to learn about the game. Not only has RT become about as important LT for pass protection, but many of the higher drafted lineman will likely be start RT, just like last years high picks.

    The great thing about James, is his experience at RT means he could likely be more successful at the position than those drafted ahead of him that play it.

  5. After looking at their schedule, I think 6 wins for the Dolphins. Their LB’s are their weakness. Should’ve brought Dansby back.

  6. This guy was a reach at #19 and I don’t care if we needed a RT. This guy isn’t special and doesn’t have the skill set or feet to ever slide over to LT when Brandon Albert retires or gets hurt. Guys moving from RT to LT have problems transitioning not so much the other way around.

    He was projected to go no earlier than the 2nd rd and we rebuff the Saints offer of the 27th pick and their 3rd rd pick for the 19th? Absolutely stupid move… James could have been had at the 27th pick and we would have had the extra 3rd rd pick that Hickey could have used on another FCS caliber player that was kicked off of his college team.

    Even if some team had wasted their 1st rd pick on James, we could have taken that guard from UCLA with the 27th pick. That kid is a mauler and instantly improves the line.

  7. Dansby made 1 play in two years with the Dolphins. He’s done. Dolphins schedule? Looks like 11-5 to me and an AFC Championship. All they have to do is learn how to build on big wins.

  8. Im not a big fan of D. Hickey or the Dolphins,,but when you need a player it doesnt really matter what rd you pick him/her/it in. Is that draft pick a player is the only question that requires an answer?

  9. I love this could of had him in round 3 or 4, what a statement to make, at the time (pick 19 )no one knows how long that player would stay on the board, get real, Miami did the smart thing at 19, get over it. Bill

  10. Cordy Glenn > Jonathan Martin

    Cyrus Kouandjio > Ju’wuan James

    Bills will sweep the Dolphins, again.

  11. Bsizemore is an idiot… nobody had him projected to go in the 1st round. NOBODY. He had no better than 2nd rd grades because he is strictly a RT or possibly a guard at worse. He definitely would have been there at 27 but Hickey panicked because the top 4 tackles were off of the board. He played the 1st rd safe and gambled on the rest of his picks. The Dolphins have a lot of holes and could have used the extra 3rd rd pick.

  12. At phinfanatic84. We have a 50 million dollar lt. We needed a rt. James was the best rt in the draft. So good in fact he’s the only rt that according to nfl sites could move over to lt. Arizona needed a rt as well and picked at 20. Their’s no guarantee he would’ve made it past their pick. Hickey made the right call on our biggest need.

  13. James sounds like a great football player, he’s eager to learn and eager to impress, he’s already trying to be a leader to his fellow rookies. I think we’re looking at a top 10 RT in his rookie year! I’m so happy he’s a Miami Dolphin, welcome to Miami James! Go PHINS!!!

  14. James will do fine. Our greatest need was at RT.
    We got a NATURAL RT with plenty of experience and success in one of the toughest collegiate conferences.
    Build this team with guys at their natural positions.
    We saw Martin fail as a converted RT, we’ve seen Hartline succeed much better as a #2 WR than a #1. Should we move Wake into the DT area? No. Keep guys at their natural position.

    When your grocery list says you need toilet paper, you don’t bring home paper towels! Sure they can do the job, but it so much better when things are used correctly. James is the right man for the job.

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