2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ja'Wuan James

  • Extremely effective pass-protector
  • Great length
  • Huge bulk
  • Strong and powerful
  • Very athletic for a big blocker
  • Reliable against pass-rushers for four quarters
  • Showed speed in his drop
  • Quick feet
  • Gets push in the ground game
  • Plus recoverability
  • Strong hands
  • Quickness
  • Mobility to hit blocks on the perimeter
  • Gets to blocks on the second level
  • Can anchor against bull rushes
  • Upside
  • Experienced against elite competition
  • Scheme versatile
  • Strength for man scheme

  • Weaknesses:
  • Could improve his bending
  • Can play too high
  • Pad level

  • Summary: At most colleges, Ju'Wuan James would have been a starting left tackle throughout his college career. However, the Tennessee offensive line has been phenomenal the past few years, and with Antonio "Tiny" Richardson taking the left tackle spot, James became a standout at right tackle throughout his career. Even though he played on the right side, WalterFootball.com knows sources who feel James has the skill set to potentially play left tackle in the NFL.

    James broke into the starting lineup as a freshman. He was awarded many honors and got better each season. In 2012, the Volunteers' offensive line was phenomenal as it allowed only 18 sacks, and James was rock steady on the right side. He played his best in 2013, including versus South Carolina. James got some double-team help when going against Jadeveon Clowney, but James kept Clowney from recording a sack. James also performed well going against some good talent with Florida and Missouri.

    James is a tough run-blocker and a reliable pass-protector. He is surprisingly athletic for his size. For the NFL, James has the quickness and athleticism to play in a zone-blocking scheme. He also has the power to play in a man scheme. James is quick to the second level and shows a nice ability to sustain his blocks.

    After starting for four years in the SEC, James is ready to compete in the NFL. He could step into a starting role as a rookie at right tackle. If James isn't a starter, he should be a valuable backup. With developmental time and good coaching, James could be a good swing tackle who could play on the left or right side thanks to his versatile size and athleticism. James also could kick inside to guard if need be. In the long run, he would probably be at his best if he were a starter at right tackle.

    Player Comparison: Jermon Bushrod. Bushrod (6-5, 315) and James are close to the same size. Like Bushrod, James can be effective as a pass-blocker and run-blocker. They both have some quickness and athleticism to their game. Bushrod was a fourth-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft out of Towson. James should go a couple of rounds higher this year. I think James could turn into a quality starter like Bushrod.

    NFL Matches: Seattle, Houston, Buffalo, Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, Baltimore, New York Giants, New York Jets

    There are plenty of teams that could consider taking James late in the second round. In the NFC South, New Orlenas and Atlanta could both consider adding some offensive tackle help. Sam Baker hasn't been consistent enough for the Falcons, so they could use a right tackle. The Saints re-signed Zach Strief in free agency, but landing James in the second round would be a great fit for New Orleans. If Terron Armstead struggles this coming season, the Saints could have James as depth.

    Buffalo needs a new right tackle, and James would form a nice duo with Cordy Glenn. Miami has a ton of holes on its offensive line and needs a right tackle to pair with the newly signed Brandon Albert.

    The Ravens lost Michael Oher in free agency, and James would be a great replacement at right tackle. He could be a nice value for Baltimore in the second round.

    In New York, James could fit both teams. The Giants could use more talent on their offensive line. Drafting James would allow them to move Justin Pugh to the inside. The Jets, meanwhile, lost Austin Howard in free agency and could use some competition at right tackle.

    The defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks could consider taking James at the end of the second round to fix their hole at right tackle. He could be a steal for Seattle at pick No. 64.

    The Texans could use a right tackle to compete with Derek Newton, and James would be a nice fit for the first selection of the third round. If anything happened to Duane Brown, James could provide some depth on the blind side as well.


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