Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Ja'Wuan James was drafted 19th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft and upon being selected, many called him a reach and said that he wasn’t the best pure right tackle available at that time. However, he and the Dolphins have been proving all of those critics wrong in the first four weeks of the season. James, who has played 302 snaps, third most of any tackle in the NFL, has only allowed one sack, 3 QB hits and 7 QB hurries.
When looking at the overall picture and when you consider that he goes up against some of the best pass rushers on a weekly basis, it’s hard to say that he isn’t worth the first round selection the Dolphins spent on him and Joe Philbin agrees.
“Well, I think Ja’Wuan, the thing that’s really impressive about him is he’s never been flustered one minute really since he’s been here. So he arrived after we drafted him. He’s kind of fit into the locker room very well. He’s picked up the system extremely well. He’s gone out and practiced I think every single day. I don’t know that he’s missed a practice, I can’t think of one that he’s missed. He’s put in the hard work and so far he’s doing some good things on the field. He’s got a lot of room for improvement, but I certainly like what he’s doing.”
Jarvis Landry, who was drafted in the second round of the draft, has 12 receptions for 111 yards. While he hasn’t made a huge impact on offense yet, he’s had several explosive returns on special teams despite his fumbling issues and mental mistakes. Philbin likes the versatility that Landry provides and likes his work ethics.
“Jarvis, again, the guy is a football player. I think you could line him up at a bunch of different places. He loves the game, he’s competitive. I think his energy has been very good for the team. He’s a hard worker and fearless kind of guy. He’s a competitor. I think they both have made a nice contribution.”
Both of these players should turn out to be solid players for years to come. For James, it looks like he can be the future of this franchise at tackle for the next decade or so and if Landry keeps on improving, he can begin to make a huge impact in the offense within the next year or two.