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Dolphins make stunning pick by taking Ja'Wuan James at No. 19


Fixing the offensive line was priority one for the Miami Dolphins in this draft, but they may have reached by taking Tennessee offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James with the No. 19 overall selection.

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James (6-foot-6, 311 pounds) never redshirted and was a four-year starter at right tackle for the Vols. NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock said James could start at right tackle or guard for the Dolphins. Miami signed tackle Branden Albert in free agency and also have center Mike Pouncey, but the other three line positions are up for grabs. James will fill one of them.

"From Day One, he's going to be a starter," Mayock said.

One interesting aspect about James: He is a better pass protector than he is a run blocker, which is surprising for a right tackle. He can struggle to get to the second level as a run blocker.

But did the Dolphins really need to grab James with the 19th pick? He was seen as a second-rounder by most analysts, and there had been reports that Miami was willing to trade down in (or maybe out of) the first round and grab James then.

While James was a surprise pick -- unquestionably the biggest surprise of the top 20 -- Mayock did say James was a solid player. "The more tape I watched of this kid, the more I liked him," Mayock said.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



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