Apr 12, 2014; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers mascot Smokey during the orange and white spring game at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins Beat Writer Doesn't Like Tennessee Players


If you’re at all familiar with Omar Kelly, then you’re aware of the fact that he’s known for his strong opinions.

Even if those opinions, at times, lack a certain rationale that you’d expect.

Kelly routinely answers questions from Miami Dolphins fans (and sometimes belittles them) about the state of the team, position battles and draft prospects.

You can assume, considering May 8 is draft day, that he’s received a LOT of questions about the draft and the Dolphins’ biggest position of need — right tackle.

Keep that thought in mind.

On Wednesday, we projected that Miami would select Tennessee offensive lineman Ja’Wuan James in the second round.

Respected CBS draft analyst Dane Brugler has alluded to Miami liking James, maybe even enough to take him in the first round.

Ja’Wuan James to Miami doesn’t seem so absurd, right?

That’s not how Omar Kelly views the situation.

And check out the logic he uses.

Before we get to why this line of thinking is so absurd, let’s look at how Omar Kelly responded to my question about why he doesn’t like Tennessee players.

The Dolphins drafted Dallas Thomas last year and while he didn’t make much of an impact in his rookie season, it’s hard to label him a bust already.

But that’s not even close to the most absurd part of Kelly’s logic.

First off, Kelly seems to think that because James was a right tackle in college, he’s not worthy of being a right tackle at the pro-level. Kelly explains that logic by saying that any right tackle in college obviously wasn’t the best offensive lineman on the team, therefore they aren’t “really good”.

For some reason he doesn’t seem to take into account the fact that James played along-side monster left tackle Antonio “Tiny” Richardson. In case you forgot, Richardson is one of only two offensive linemen that projected top overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney complimented before the 2013 season.

(You can go to the 6:15 mark of the video below to see why Clowney mentioned Richardson)

I’d say that’s a pretty good reason for Ja’Wuan James to play at right tackle (by the way he started every game of his four year career at right tackle).

The second part of Kelly’s logic that is flawed is that he doesn’t like James simply because he came from Tennessee.


There are busts from every school, but few schools have the tradition of successful NFL players like Tennessee. From guys you knew would excel like Peyton Manning, Jerod Mayo and Eric Berry to overachievers like Arian Foster and Jason Witten, the Vols have had some successful players make it to the NFL.

To discount an entire school due to a couple of players that didn’t pan out is incredibly small-minded and ignorant.

Can you imagine Mike Mayock or Mel Kiper saying the Houston Texans shouldn’t draft Clowney because Troy Williamson turned out to be a bust?

I didn’t think so.

But then again what do you expect from the guy that criticized Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley’s game tape against LSU. By the way, Easley didn’t play against LSU this year — and he let Kelly know it.


Ah, it all makes sense now.

So what’s the moral of the story?

Don’t resort to hot takes if you haven’t put in the work. You’re the one that ends up looking like a hot mess.

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Tags: Football Tennessee Volunteers

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