The Miami Dolphins looked to repair their offensive line after a turbulent 2013 by drafting tackle Ja’Wuan James with the 19th pick in the NFL draft’s first round on Thursday night.
James shot up the draft boards with a strong performance in workouts and interviews.
On Twitter, Richardson wrote “I am so blessed and appreciate the Dolphins so much for this opportunity! Ready to go to work with my new team! #FinsUp”
James started all 49 games of his college career, the most ever by a University of Tennessee lineman. James was the first pick of new Miami general manager Dennis Hickey.
The Dolphins gave up an NFL-worst 58 sacks last year. Four of five starters from 2013 are gone, including offensive lineman Richie Incognito, who was suspended for allegedly mistreating teammate Jonathan Martin.
The Dolphins have seven picks in the draft and will likely look to fill needs at linebacker and tight end.
Miami holds the 50th overall pick as their next selection, which is mid-way through the second round.
Evan Woodbery with the Knoxville News-Sentinel contributed to this report.