Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dolphins target expected position, 'surprise' James


Most expected the Miami Dolphins to take an offensive lineman with their first round draft pick, but their choice at the No. 19 slot was a bit of a surprise.

The Dolphins selected former Tennessee offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James to solidify their offensive front, a move that nearly completes a rebuild of an offensive line that gave up a league-high 58 sacks in 2013.

Where they went with the pick wasn't a surprise, but they took a prospect generally considered to be outside the top-tier of college tackles.

The popular thought was that if the upper echelon of linemen was off the board, which it was, Miami could trade back, collect extra picks and still take a player of James' caliber.

"It definitely was a surprise," James said Thursday night, via Andrew Abramson. "I went in with no expectations but I had great interaction with Dolphins since Senior Bowl."

Regardless, the pick is in, and if James proves to be a stabilizing force in the Dolphins' offense for years to come, no one will be complaining. James holds a school record with 49 starts at Tennessee and was selected to the All-SEC second team in 2013.

"We've got to keep (Ryan Tannehill) up," he said. "I've got to do my job to keep him up."

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