Ja'Wuan James

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Ja'Wuan James
refer to caption
James at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine
No. 70 – Miami Dolphins
Position: Offensive tackle
Personal information
Born: (1992-06-03) June 3, 1992 (age 26)
Atlanta, Georgia
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight: 318 lb (144 kg)
Career information
High school: Suwanee (GA) North Gwinnett
College: Tennessee
NFL Draft: 2014 / Round: 1 / Pick: 19
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2017
Games played: 47
Games started: 47
Player stats at NFL.com

Ja'Wuan Amir James (born June 3, 1992) is an American football offensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Dolphins in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Tennessee.

High school career[edit]

James attended North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia, where he was teammates with Austin Shepherd. In his sophomore season, North Gwinnett advanced to the GHSA Class 5A state championship game with 13–2 record, where they lost 34–6 to Valdosta Lowndes led by Greg Reid and Telvin Smith.[1] As a junior, James helped North Gwinnett to a berth in state quarterfinals behind 10–3 finish, where they lost 20–3 to Alec Ogletree's Newnan.[2] In James's senior season, North Gwinnett finished with a 13–1 mark, earning Region 7-5A championship while advancing to the state quarterfinals, where they lost 35–0 to Camden County.[3] After the season, James was selected Class 5A All-State by Georgia Sportswriters, and was invited to play in the 2010 Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, he was rated the eighth best offensive tackle prospect in his class and the sixth best prospect from Georgia.[4] He was such a highly sought after prospect that Tennessee's head coach Lane Kiffin wanted to land a helicopter on North Gwinnett's softball field in an attempt to impress James, but was unable to receive clearance from the high school.[5]

College career[edit]

James attended the University of Tennessee from 2010 to 2013. He started 49 consecutive games for the Volunteers, all at right tackle. His 49 starts set a record for career starts by an offensive lineman in Tennessee history (passing Jeff Smith's 48 starts from 1992 to 1995).[6] He played on an elite offensive line that produced four NFL offensive linemen with three of them going on to become starters.

Professional career[edit]

On December 9, 2013, it was announced that James and teammate Daniel McCullers had accepted their invitations to the 2014 Senior Bowl.[7] On January 24, 2014, it was reported that James would unfortunately miss the Reese's Senior Bowl after suffering a sprained knee during practice. His performances at practice were well-received and helped his draft stock.[8] James was one of 50 collegiate linemen to attend the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. Tennessee had a record four offensive linemen attend the combine, that include James, James Stone, Antonio Richardson, and Zach Fulton. He performed all of the combine drills well and finished sixth among all offensive linemen in the three-cone drill and ninth in the short shuttle.[9] On April 2, 2014, he attended Tennessee's pro day, along with Zach Fulton, Antonio Richardson, James Stone, Daniel McCullers, Jacques Smith, Rajion Neal, Michael Palardy, and seven other prospects. He opted to stand on his combine numbers and only performed positional drills for scouts and representatives from all 32 NFL Teams, that included Seattle Seahawks' offensive line coach Tom Cable. During the draft process, James had private workouts and meetings with a few teams, including the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins.[10] At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, James projected to be a first to third round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts. He was ranked the sixth best offensive tackle prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, the ninth best offensive tackle in the draft by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, and 15th best offensive linemen by Sports Illustrated.[11][12][13]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 6 in
(1.98 m)
311 lb
(141 kg)
35 in
(0.89 m)
9 78 in
(0.25 m)
5.34 s 1.86 s 3.08 s 4.56 s 7.42 s 29 in
(0.74 m)
8 ft 7 in
(2.62 m)
22 reps
All values from NFL Combine[14]

2014[edit]

The Miami Dolphins selected James in the first round (19th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft. He was the fourth offensive linemen selected in 2014.[15] James was the highest selected Tennessee Volunteers offensive lineman since Charles McRae and Antone Davis in 1991.[16] On June 19, 2014, the Dolphins signed James to a fully guaranteed four-year, $8.42 million contract that includes a signing bonus of $4.44 million.[17]

James entered training camp slated as the starting right tackle with newly acquired free agent Branden Albert starting on the blindside. Head coach Joe Philbin named James the official starting right tackle to begin the regular season.[18]

He made his first career start and professional regular season debut in the Miami Dolphins' season-opening 33-20 victory over the New England Patriots.[19] In the first four games, James yielded only one sack and ranked as the tenth best run blocker and 20th best offensive tackles overall among the 67 offensive tackles that qualified. He was considered a improvement over former starting right tackles Tyson Clabo and Jonathan Martin.[20] In Week 10, he was moved to left tackle after starter Branden Albert was placed on injured/reserve for the remainder of the season after suffering a knee injury.[21] He started 16 games for the Dolphins in 2014.[22] James played poorly in the last eight games and received a overall grade of -28.4 from Pro Football Focus. He received a grade of +0.3 in run blocking.[23]

2015[edit]

James returned to the starting right tackle position to start training camp and remained the starter to begin the regular season.[24]

He started the first seven games of the 2015 season before suffering a toe injury and being placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season. Head coach Joe Philbin was fired after Week 4.[25][26][25] Tight end coach Dan Campbell was named interim head coach for the rest of the season as James finished with only seven starts and was ranked the 33rd best offensive tackle by Pro Football Focus.[27] Pro Football Focus graded him at 70 overall, 79 at pass blocking, and 35 at run blocking.

2016[edit]

James remained the starting right tackle, opposite Branden Albert, to begin the 2016 season under new head coach Adam Gase. The Miami Dolphins drafted the top ranked offensive tackle prospect Laremy Tunsil with the 13the overall pick, but opted to use him as an offensive guard for his first season.

He started 16 consecutive games at right tackle and helped the Dolphins achieve a 10-6 record and place second in the AFC East. On January 8, 2017, James started in his first career playoff game as the Dolphins were defeated 30-12 by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wildcard Playoffs. Pro Football Focus ranked James 32nd among all offensive tackles with a grade of 78.0 in 2016 and Branden Albert ranked 65th.[28] James was the Miami Dolphins' highest graded offensive linemen of the season as the entire line ranked 30th overall. He also received a grade of 81.0 for run blocking which ranked 18th among all offensive tackles.[29]

2017[edit]

On May 1, 2017, the Miami Dolphins exercised the fifth-year, $9.34 million option on James' rookie contract for the 2018 season.[30] He started the first eight games of the season at right tackle before suffering a hamstring injury in Week 9 against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday Night Football. He was placed on injured reserve on November 11, 2017.[31]

Personal life[edit]

James grew up in New Jersey and moved to the Atlanta, Georgia in eighth grade. He was raised by his mother, Nichelle James-Mickens, and his father, Burkley James. Throughout his childhood he mainly played basketball and briefly played baseball before becoming bored with it. He decided to play football after moving to Georgia.[5]

On July 12, 2017, James announced via Twitter that he has officially become engaged to his longtime college girlfriend Rainey Gaffin. She was a member of the Tennessee Volunteers softball team from 2013-2016.[32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lowndes claims state title, 34–6". Valdosta Daily Times. December 16, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Newnan Defense Keys Win Over North Gwinnett In Rematch". Times-Herald. December 6, 2008. Archived from the original on October 17, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Camden County 35, North Gwinnett 0". Gwinnett Daily Post. November 27, 2009. 
  4. ^ Ja'Wuan James - Yahoo Sports
  5. ^ a b Andrew Abramson (May 22, 2014). "Miami Dolphins hope they've won the lottery by drafting Ja'Wuan James". mypalmbeachpost.com. Retrieved January 11, 2018. 
  6. ^ Vols' James and McCullers headed to senior bowl
  7. ^ "James, McCullers invited to Senior Bowl". UTSports.com. December 9, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  8. ^ Zach Ragan (January 21, 2014). "Ja'Wuan James To Miss Remainder Of Senior Bowl". AllForTennessee.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  9. ^ "2014 NFL Combine Results: Offensive linemen". scout.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  10. ^ "Vols hold NFL Pro Day". UTSports.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  11. ^ "Ja'Wuan James, DS #6 OT, Tennessee". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  12. ^ Mike Mayock (June 6, 2014). "2014 NFL Draft: Mike Mayock's top 100 prospects". NFL.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  13. ^ "Top 100 Prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft". si.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  14. ^ "NFL Draft Profile: Ja'Wuan James". NFL.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  15. ^ Dolphins select offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James with No. 19 pick
  16. ^ "Vols tackle James 19th pick of draft". timesfreepress.com. Retrieved June 13, 2017. 
  17. ^ Josh Katzowitz, "Dolphins Agree to Four-year Rookie Deal With T Ja'Wuan James," CBS Sports, 19 June 2014.
  18. ^ Alain Poupart (September 2, 2014). "Dolphins Release Initial 2014 Regular Season Depth Chart". MiamiDolphins.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  19. ^ James Walker, "Ja'Wuan James Grades Well in First Start," ESPN.com, 9 September 2014.
  20. ^ Barry Jackson (October 1, 2014). "Miami Dolphins rookies – led by Ja'Wuan James and Jarvis Landry – already making impact". MiamiHerald.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  21. ^ Igor Mello (June 4, 2014). "Dolphins LT Branden Albert carted off with knee injury". CBSsports.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  22. ^ "Ja'Wuan James". nfl.com. Retrieved September 25, 2016. 
  23. ^ Thomas Galicia (June 4, 2015). "Why Ja'Wuan James Will Be Miami Dolphins' Most Improved Starter in 2015". BleacherReport.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  24. ^ Kevin Nogle (September 5, 2015). "Dolphins depth chart 2015: Projecting the Miami depth chart after final roster cuts". thephinsider.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  25. ^ a b "Ja'Wuan James". nfl.com. Retrieved September 25, 2016. 
  26. ^ Gantt, Darin (October 30, 2015). "Dolphins right tackle Ja'Wuan James to miss a month or more with toe". profootballtalk.nbcsports.com. Retrieved September 25, 2016. 
  27. ^ Brian Miller. "2015 Dolphins grades: Ja'Wuan James". PhinPhanatic.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  28. ^ "How Miami Dolphins finished in PFF grades this season". slicemiami.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  29. ^ Sam Monson (January 11, 2017). "Ranking all 32 NFL offensive lines this season". ProFootballFocus.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  30. ^ Orr, Conor (May 1, 2017). "Dolphins pick up Ju'Wuan James' fifth-year option". NFL.com. 
  31. ^ "Miami Dolphins Make Roster Moves". MiamiDolphins.com. November 11, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Tennessee Vols: VFL Gets Engaged To College Sweetheart". tenntruth.com. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 

External links[edit]