Ja’Wuan James OT Tennessee #70
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Size/Athleticism: Good height, but that’s about it. Appears a little soft and clearly lacks the dominant strength to win simply by overpowering. Mobility is below average. Doesn’t have the speed to get downfield and agility on the line is shaky.
Pass Protection: Inconsistent awareness. Seems to still be learning how to read the defense and anticipate when/where the pass-rush is coming. Late to react and doesn’t always put himself in the best position to be effective. Slow off the snap—consistently beat by more athletic edge-rushers. Reasonably quick feet and can slide outside smoothly, but gets choppy when trying to stay with the most athletic edge-rushers. Extremely inconsistent hand placement. Strong power body gives him a sturdy base to hold his ground against bull rushers, but he isn’t a true finisher.
Run Blocking: Flashes a mean streak as a run blocker and can finish off blocks when he gets proper hand placement and stays balanced. But he struggles with consistent hand placement and pad level and will slide off blocks. More experienced and technically sound linemen can easily take advantage of his lack of technique and shed blocks. Takes poor angles and struggles to quickly diagnose his assignment.
Intangibles: Four-year starter.
Durability: Sprained knee during senior bowl practices.
Comments: James has decent physical tools but his lack of fundamentals and awareness on the field raises some serious red flags considering the fact that he’s a four-year starter. With so much experience, how does a player continue to make the same technique mistakes? How does he fail to develop on-field awareness? I worry about his ability to handle the complex defenses he’ll see in the NFL. Too many NFL teams do a great job disguising blitzes and making late adjustments which will throw him off.