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Reaction to Dolphins picking Ja'Wuan James

The Dolphins filled their greatest need and although I understand the criticism of picking Ja'Wuan James without trading down and getting an extra pick for him, I cannot bring myself to hate the pick (particularly since I called it quite a while back).

So that's my reaction to the Dolphins' work in the 2014 NFL Draft's first round.

Here's some more reaction:

General Manager Dennis Hickey admitted he had the opportunity to trade down if he had wanted to.

“With any pick, we are always entertaining (offers), and sometimes you are on the clock and you get a lot of calls, sometimes you get a few," he said. "We had a couple calls, but we were just excited about picking Ja’Wuan James and adding him to our roster. He’s a guy that definitely fits in from a talent aspect as well as the person and brings what the Dolphins are all about."

Hickey weighed the idea of trading down versus the possibility he might lose James and decided not to risk it.

"As always, when calls are made you kind of go through and we kind of had a predisposed plan there to what we value," he said. "Our excitement that Ja’Wuan (James) was there, he was a targeted player that we really feel like was going to help us. He fit all of the criteria, so we were excited to take him. Obviously throughout the draft you are always taking into account all kinds of different scenarios and just weighing them according to how you feel about the player and how you feel about trading back. Obviously we felt good about the player. We are excited to add him to the team."

Hickey doesn't think James at No. 19 is a reach at all.

“We were always targeting Ja’Wuan at our pick," he said. "Again, we are excited and I know he was very excited as we talked to him through our visit here. A couple of times he grabbed me and said, ‘What do we have to do to get me here? I want to be here.’ So I said, ‘We kind of have to go through the process here, Ja’Wuan.’ He’s pumped to be a Miami Dolphin, and we are really excited to have him as part of our organization."

James is Miami's new starting right tackle. Or at least he better be.

And while the orthodox thinking among some fans is that the right tackle has to be a grinder and run-blocker and his pass-blocking can be sub-par because he's not protecting the quarterback's blind side, it is often the RT that has to be a better pass blocker.

Remember, in today's NFL, many teams put their best pass rushers over the right tackle. The Dolphins, for example, do this with Cameron Wake. The Bills often do it with Mario Williams. The Pats do it with Chandler Jones.

Well, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin believes James is good in pass pro.

"I think the one thing we all felt after watching the tape -- and I think that it is the No. 1 job that an offensive tackle in the National Football League has to get done on a consistent basis -- is we felt like he has the ability to pass block one-on-one against defensive ends," Philbin said. "That’s probably the first thing that really stuck out to us. We felt that he was a good scheme fit in the offensive, but I would say that was the number one thing that jumped out."

James joins former University of Tennessee teammate Dallas Thomas, a 2013 draft pick, on the Miami offensive line. Thomas, it must be said, is something of a nomad right now. Philbin said the team has not settled on whether he'll working primarily at guard or tackle initially in 2014.

That decision will be made soon after the draft.

This is what Philbin did not say: The reason the decision will come after the draft is because the Dolphins still want to add a guard in this draft. If they can do that today in rounds 2 or 3, the chances are good Thomas will be slotted in at tackle as a swing guy possibility -- left or right.

If, however, the Dolphins fail in their search for a guard today, Thomas will likely settle in at guard and compete for a starting job there.

The Dolphins absolutely love, love, love Nevada tackle Joel Bitonio, a source familiar with Miami's thinking tells me. The team loves Bitonio as a guard and likely as a left guard.

So if the Dolphins can land him in the second round today ... well, that would be very good. And that would likely make Dallas Thomas a tackle.

Blog note: I will post an update about what the Dolphins are thinking for today's two rounds sometime before noon. Make sure you are here for that and follow me on twitter.  



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Ok, thank your source for telling the entire NFL!


Best RT available to us at 19
Hope he is all that we expect from him - keep tannehill from being sacked and give him lots of time to find the open receiver

hickey is incompetent.

inexcusable to not trade down and get extra 3rd round pick.

this team needs talent and playmakers.

the faces change but the same failure continues.

this is the product of a stubborn owner that is unable to attract and hire top GMs and coaches.

Great pick. Our RT position is filled-we had to take care of that need prior to advancing to anything else. I've seen James play and he will be good for the Phins. I think y'all need to give Hickey a chance and stop comparing him to the loser we got rid of. For so many years everybody complained about Ireland - well he is gone so give the new guy a chance to prove himself. I believe he is a 100% upgrade from the previous, but I guess only time will tell.

Ha ha clintons dix

Safe pick for a 8-8 team that will be lucky to see 7-9 this year unless they find a qb who can throw deep.
Just saying..

I heard the Dolphins HATE Bitonio. He is a big time marijuana smoker plus his friends say that he beats his girlfriend. He might even be gay, too. I just feel really bad for all those kittens that he killed recently. They didn't deserve that. He just not worth the risk and negative media publicity. I wouldn't even take the guy in the 5th round.

The mention of Bitonio as our 2nd pick and reaching for James as the 1st pick, absolutely suggests we are still in year 2 of rebuild mode. Youre foolish not to see this. :)

It seems to me that if he did trade down 10 spots which was the best offer on the table there might have been another team that traded up ahead of us to take James
A RT that played 1870 downs and only gave up 5 sacks in all those plays over 4 years in the toughest division SEC was probably in many radars as a target
As the experts said he was forecasted to go in the second half of the first round
That meant there was a better than 50% chance he was gone before we would've picked at 29
So we would have lost out on getting the best pure RT in the draft to get another third round pick ??
Not worth the gamble
There are at least 5 other teams with a need of a RT
They would have gotten in front of us for sure
No - I think hickey made the smart safe choice take him now and give tannehill more time to find the receivers
I for one love the pick
If we get bitonio (as our L guard) round 2 we might have transformed our OL into the best OL in the AFC
He did the right thing for our team

This pick vs last year's disaster on the field = likely upgrade. Isn't that what the draft is supposed to do? More time for Tannehill = opportunity for Wallace to get free deep and that will open up the offense, particularly the running game, which incidentally has also been upgraded with the Moreno acquisition. It is a step in the right direction. Not a glamorous step, but a step nonetheless.

In response to "Doomed" - how can a QB throw the ball when he is running from the Defense. Our OLine last year was the worst in the NFL and you want to throw the blame on Thill. Get with the program - we need to protect the QB so he can set up to throw the ball, not to mention we have to be able to run the ball to give the QB options.

Sounds like the reference to "excitement" clouded a better move. Trading back made the most sense considering the drop off of talent after Martin left the board. Not that I hate the pick, just question whether Hickey was so excited that he was going to make a selection that he lost the opportunity to draft a player where he should have been drafted, gained compensation, and saved salary by not having a first round pick.
Would love to see Marquise Lee on this roster if there's a way...

I'm growing into liking the pick, would've liked to trade back but you never know how much higher James was rated over the next best option by the GM, scouts and coaches. I'm glad they got the guy they wanted and hope they know what they are doing.

What's funny to me is lebron is friends with manziel. And for it lebron will want to return to Cleveland to play with kyrie. And party with manziel. ,(predetor voice), bwahahaha bwahahahaha

Hunter , Tanny telegraphs and stares. He couldn't hit Wallace in stride once all year. Tanny also has no awareness/ability to slide OR step up effectively. Good QBs hit targets before they go down or even as they are going down.
Not bashing , just sayin...He isn't "the ONE"

Very doubtfull he was still there at 29
Hickey will get us the glamorous picks later
Let's win the war I'm the trenches first
James rated first round and also rated best RT available

It seems that whenever Miami reaches for a player that player does not turn out, I.E. Ted Ginn and Pat WHite. The two teams that Miami was talking to was probably the Vikings and Brows. They could have had them bidding against each other and if they wanted to stay in the 1st rd, just take the Browns best offer and still select James. I don't hate the pick, just don't like the value of the pick. It is difficult to over look your team not taking a deal that would have given them extra picks in a deep draft.

Totally disagree with you
If we lost James and gained a third round pick who would have been our RT
Next in line is half as good as James

I would be relieved if Miami traded up to get Carr.
Doubtful but there's the answer to all the problems the O-Line CANT fix.

I don't think we reached
He was going to be drafted in the second half of first round and
That is where we got him

good pick and is a true RT. There are a number of good guards and tackles still left when they pick and # 50.

Lets not forget THIS IS Philbins team and THIS IS Philbins pick. I would have loved to see what they would have got for trading down a spot or so since it was pretty clear what teams behind them needed. Inexperence here in that regard. I'm not knocking the pick though. Lets see what Joe does with his 6 remaing picks where the real value is.

Its not a reach, keeping Tanny is the reach...

We will probably go from most sacks allowed in 2013 to least sacks allowed in 2014
From least amount of time for out QB to throw the ball to most time allowed
This is the right decision for our team

I doubt texans will trade out of first pick of the second round
They need a QB
They will probably take Carr

how is our RT filled? Theres no certainty he ill start or succeed. Should of taken HaHa since Jones regressed and Delmas is injury prone then Bitonio etc in 2nd/3rd.

Rookie move Hickey, but if you suck long enuff a Hickey whats ya get

You are probably correct Ralph.
I do agree with sack count too.
But...Those INTs are gonna go through the roof.

There is no certainy that ha ha will perform.

Even ESPN admitted that we got an immediate starter
James will start from day one
We don't have another RT
Plus this is the best pure pass protecting RT in the draft
Not only will he start he is very durable
Never missed playing a down in 4 years
Guy -- we did good
We got a great player
A durable player
An immediate starter
RT was more of a need than safety
We had no one to play RT
At least we have Delmas and jones for safety
Be patient we might also pick a safety this draft

i would have took manziel and we will pay for this decision to pass on him. o-line could be addressed in free agency its the same risk financially (and u get someone with nfl experience) as drafting a 1st rd lineman

hickey is incompetent.

inexcusable to not trade down and get extra 3rd round pick.

this team needs talent and playmakers.

READ what you posted you are less likly to find Talent by trading down just for extra pick

Safe and good pick.

1) On a BPA basis, only Cooks and Clinton-Dix had clearly a better grade than James AND would have addressed a team weakness (WR and S)

2) All the other players taken after James with a (marginally) better grade than him were CBs and DEs, where we have lots of players

tannehill is not the answer an if u look at tape on him half of those sacks we accumulated could have been avoided if he had any type of pocket awareness or just holding the ball to long instead of running or getting rid of it. he also is inaccurate with the deep ball throwing short and forcing players to wait on the football instead of catching it in stride and scoring. we need a double threat qb with game smartness.its something that cant be tauhgt or obtained over years u just have to have it in u.


Deepest WR draft in years
We will get one or two probably
Draft not over

Don't know about safety

Posted by: iceman | May 09, 2014 at 03:59 AM

For Tannehill to develop pocket awareness he would first need to have a pocket. He got killed from everywhere last year and he also led the league in most sacks in under 2.5 seconds. That's not good line play.

on the other hand I hope we'll NOT use our 2nd round pick on a guard like Bitoni.

Have to get one of the TEs or a WR (let's not forget Wallace and his big contrat will soon be out of town)

let a heisman qb walk by us while we settle for tannehill

Ralphflorida, Howe can you say for sure that he would have been taken when there are still many RTs that were ranked ahead of him for one thing. The other thing is they would have had a late 1st or an early second in that trade, chances are he would have been still been there. I would have taken that gamble that he would have still been there and get that extra pick. The draft is deep and Miami has many holes to fill. Eagles got an extra 3rd rd pick from the Browns for swapping places. So Miami probably would have gotten a 2nd rd pick and still be selecting in the 1st rd with no other team in desperate need of a tackle before that pick. I would bet the house that Miami would have got James with the 26th pick of the draft.

look at film yea the line play wasnt good at times but for the most part he had a pocket just didnt make the most of the situation like quality qb's do like stepping up from pressure or scramble. look around luck and even russel wilson is always on the run making plays cause they protection breaks down so save the tannehill excuses

I'm just relieved we addressed the O-line.

IMO, This is the year Tannehill needs to show something or it is time to move on. Could he have done more? yes but looking at things objectively, the team had just one rushing TD in the last 6 games. is that his fault? When I look at the 7 wins, I see him winning 6 of them and the other one was a team effort, against the Jets. As for the losses, I put 3 directly on him, the last two, he stunk it up but so did the rest of the team and the rest he could have done better but he was not the main reason for the losses. It tells me that he is capable of carrying the team, he needs to be more consistent. The other thing is if you look at other QBs….Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan for example, they lost many core players and end up struggling because of it. Look at successful rookie QBs and you would see majority of them wen to teams who had a good core of players to support them. This is still the ultimate team sport.

trade in 1st round with saints; take a qb in 2nd or 3rd or trade the 3rd with tampa for glannon than trade matt moore.

instead we know we'll be another gm qb and coach next year

Can you smell the Tannehaters jealousy?

No need to screw around a lose a prospect you like so in my mind it was logical for Hickey to stay at 19. RT need filled and with that the Phins can come out today and go in almost in direction to upgrade positions.

C'mon Armando, tell me who Hickey is going to pick in Rd 2 so if I don't like it I can turn off the fukkkking thing, forever.

This guys debut is eerily similar to Ireland here. Not even so, this is not nearly as safe a pick as Pouncey was.

James was the right pick, at the right time, to fill the right hole. Finally, the Fins didnt pick a player which would have required another position shift and therby creating an unnecessary learning curve in hopes of having it work out. Fins should let Thomas compete at his natural position which is guard and mainly right guard. Benton will be a le to get more out of him that way. Fins will look to bloster the o line in either round two or three and look at both LB and WR. Safety help will come after. I am good with the James pick. Nothing fancy, no talk of position shift or injury issues. Glad to see the Fins start using the draft to fill specific needs instead of wasting a pick on a position they do not need to fix.

What Hickey basically did was buy a car at the sticker price. Am I really supposed to believe the Saints weren't willing to trade up to 19 when they had no problem trading up to 20?

If you're that determined to pass up playmakers then at least get an extra pick to take your guy.

So far it's like Ireland never left.

No Balls is called.

Thank goodness for a sincere reporter. James Walker didn't like the pick. He's always been my boy.

I see that Buff and the Jets got 2 terrific play makers in Watkins and Pryor. And although I don't know who Belichick's pick is, he has a habit of turning the pedestrian into the elite. We are rapidly falling behind in the Division.

Great line up on the R side of the OLine. Dallas Thomas and Ja'Wuan James. Although Philbin has said he is still not sure if Dallas is a G or T. Uff...

Marlins win, Heat win, dolphins still stink.

Let's be honest. No one really wanted Hickey.

I wonder why that is, What's New.

With the potential Jets adding more talent, the Bills stealing S.Watkins and the Pats already loaded, I definitely giving the sorry a** Dolphins 6-10 and on the clock for Famous Jamous Winston way to go Hickey the buffoonery continues !!

not saying this pick is as terrible as dion jordan or moving up to take a basic a-- rb like daniel thomas but passing on the heisman trophy winner for the 5th maybe 6th best o-lineman after a decade of mediocre qb's hurts me as a dolphin fan. we are a qb away from winning a superbowl. but still i like aj mcarron,d.carr,jordan lynch, or aaron murray hopefully we land one of them.

Buffalo got a great playmaker, but they have no QB to throw to him, and they have lost their 2015 1st rounder. Long term, they do not gain ground on us.

Jets are another story. Overall they are improved, and Pryor is a great player, no doubt. But also kind of a luxury pick when you see their holes at WR and CB.

Not even Jeffrey Luria has been as inept with his Team. The questions beg, is this being done on purpose? Why if so?

what would have been your pick Oscar?

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