Day one of the NFL draft did, in fact, see a former Vol selected. Offensive lineman Ja’Wuan James saw his name come off the board with the 19th overall selection, going to the Miami Dolphins.
James had a stellar career for the Vols, proving his toughness all four years he played for Tennessee by starting all 49 games of his career. Since the regular season came to an end for him and the Vols, James has done nothing but impress NFL scouts, whether it was through the Combine or interviews.
Ja’Wuan James beat teammate and fellow offensive lineman Antonia “Tiny” Richardson as the first Vol to be selected in the 2014 NFL draft, even though Richardson had more hype throughout the majority of the season.
The Dolphins ensured the Vols would have a player drafted in the 1st round for a second consecutive year, as James joins Cordarrelle Patterson as the last two former Vols to be drafted in the 1st round.
James also becomes the 45th 1st round selection in University of Tennessee history. He is expected to compete and probably start immediately for the Dolphins this upcoming season as they had major offensive line issues this past season.