All-22 Rookie Class: Ja'Wuan James

LouPhinFan

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http://www.si.com/nfl/2014/08/27/all-22-rookie-class

...Through three preseason games, James has validated Hickey's faith by playing at an extremely high level -- better than I saw from his college tape, especially when playing with power and authority -- and pass-protecting as well as can possibly be expected. According to Pro Football Focus' metrics, James has allowed no pressures -- no sacks, no hits and no hurries -- in 71 pass-blocking snaps. That doesn't represent times when he appears to get outmatched to either side by speed-rushers (especially speed-rushers with really good foot-fakes), but after watching his NFL tape, I'd say that even at 19, the Dolphins may have a bit of a steal here...
Good stuff from Doug Farrar here. The hiring of John Benton is already paying dividends. Perhaps this unit will be able to run block better than I thought they would.
 

FinHopeful

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I enjoyed the article. It is important that everyone keep the context of the article in mind when they read it. The context is preseason evaluation of rookies. Under that context, James has performed well. We will have to wait to see if:

- As a rookie, he performs well during the season.
- how he compares to the other starting right tackles during the season (not a rookie grading curve).
 

ChambersWI

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From a "reach" to a "steal", lol
Honestly during the draft season I saw him being projected anywhere from late 2nd to early 4th. Then when the rumblings were that he was one of 5 OL we had a first round grade on, I went back and watched film. From what I saw from his senior film, I felt that if he had played LT he'd have been a sure fire first rounder. I was really impressed with his ability to pick up blitzes.

Now there are some rookie struggles that shock me around the league, but even as a fan of James I'm pleasantly surprised with how good he's looked.
 

datruth55

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From a "reach" to a "steal", lol
Funny how that works. Although Seantrel Henderson may be the bigger steal since he was a 7th round pick and he's finally playing up to his potential in Buffalo...after 4 years of being an idiot at the U of Miami. But then Buffalo also took Cyrus Kouandjio in the 2nd round and he's the player I thought he was...just awful. Still time for Seantrel to smoke his way out of the league though...like Josh Gordon...who blamed the league for his suspension, lol. Guy still doesn't get it.
 

hoops

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Funny how that works. Although Seantrel Henderson may be the bigger steal since he was a 7th round pick and he's finally playing up to his potential in Buffalo...after 4 years of being an idiot at the U of Miami. But then Buffalo also took Cyrus Kouandjio in the 2nd round and he's the player I thought he was...just awful. Still time for Seantrel to smoke his way out of the league though...like Josh Gordon...who blamed the league for his suspension, lol. Guy still doesn't get it.
Henderson is showing some cracks of late now that he's been kicked over to the right side with Glenn back...
 

datruth55

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Henderson is showing some cracks of late now that he's been kicked over to the right side with Glenn back...
He's gonna show more than cracks if he starts at RT for Buffalo in game two and have to face Cameron Wake.
 

hoops

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I thnk when you look at the James pick value it comes down to would a Anthony Collins validate a top 20 pick grade to you cause they are similar players...James has a long ways to go in the run game to play a solid overall right tackle...

As such I don't think from an overall game aspect he validated any top 20 grade at the time...top 20 picks should be solid in all aspects coming out IMO...otherwise the shouldn't get top 20 grades in a class as deep as the 2014 one

James run game play is more suited for the left side...
 

Pachyderm_Wave

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Said it many times before and after Miami picked him. This kid can play. Never understood the reach talk.

The only thing he needs to keep improving on is his footwork in run blocking... particularly on zone plays where he's required to reach block. It boils down to hitting his landmark. Mastering the proper steps to achieve this (reach and angle steps) will allow him to hit those landmarks more accurately, and sustain reach blocks longer. But it'll take time as it's a new concept to him.

I just think with a new coordinator, Lazor needs to refrain from outsmarting himself during the regular season with too much pixie dust and window dressing, or the offensive line can struggle. By pixie dust, I mean the offensive linemen don't care about all the creative ways you can get the ball to your skill players and all the window dressing used to do so. They just want to have great confidence in knowing what step to take and where to take it.

Once game planning for opponents begins, you're subject to see basically the same plays run but using different schemes (IZ, OZ, Gap, etc.) Just stick with what you know your offensive lineman like James can do well until he's comfortable with more complexity in the technique. In other words, the assignment may stay the same, but the footwork may change.

You'd rather have two different plays blocked the same way with the same leverage with just a change in technique, as opposed to the same play run with a different blocking scheme. At least at first. It essentially boils down to you'd rather have two plays for the offense that the defense has to defend but only one scheme for the O-Line to learn. Especially with a rookie and what amounts to 4 new starters.
 

Vaark

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Ted, I cited you a few days ago as one of the only draft guys who was bullish about the pick. Still remains to be seen.. but so far you're looking pretty damn prescient :up:
 

Pachyderm_Wave

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I just knew the kid could play and play at a high level. Reach talk is one thing, but what always seemed to get lost in the shuffle as people entrenched themselves on one side or the other of the discussion, was the fact that Ja'Waun James could play. My other point was that nobody would care if he was a "reach" or not once he got in here and began showing what he was capable of bringing to an offensive line that had just given up a team record 58 sacks. Due in large part to not even having a capable body at the RT position. Hickey just brought Miami a little more than a capable body though.

Sure he may struggle at times during the regular season, but he won't in pass protection. He's too good and too consistent. I already knew that. Which is why he deserved much more respect as a player than what he seemed to be getting.

That's why I also try to caution people into reading too much into "PFF Grades" for individual players during preseason. It's useful to a degree, but there's no context involved. Especially along the offensive line.

A lot of times a player is graded negatively on a particular play involving a certain technique or concept that the coaching staff already knew he struggled with and needs more time on. They'll work around that in a variety of ways once the games count. I think it's important for Miami that Lazor do this, and not get caught up in the pixie dust too much... or the offensive line can struggle generate any lateral displacement in the running game. It was right there in front of everybody all preseason if you paid attention. Stick with what you know they execute well.
 

MRojas4

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All I know is LT and RT positions are secure for the next 4 years. And I'm happy.
 

njFinsForever

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I used to love watching the colts run a trap play where the olineman let the defender move upfield and seal off a crease for the RB. Involves guard or tackle looping to inside I believe? Not sure if I'm describing correctly, but I wonder if lazor will incorporate those types of plays? It seemed like more of a finesse play than power blocking for the lineman
 

maralieus

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Get em juwuan! So far I really like this guy, not only has he done a great job blocking but he has a great attitude and is gonna be the leader of this o-line for a while. Hopefully some of his attitude will run off on pouncey, who acts more like a rookie now than James does as an actual rookie.
 
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