After months of discussion and analysis, the day has arrived. The 2012 NFL Draft begins at 8 o’clock tonight at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and finally predictions will turn into second-guessing, which I suppose is a step in the right direction. Before that, though, one final round of predictions about what the Dolphins will do with the eighth overall pick in the Draft from around the web:
Mike Mayock, NFL Network: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Everybody wants to talk about Tannehill at No. 8 to the Dolphins. He’s No. 19 on my big board, so on one hand I think you’re over-drafting when you take him that high. On the other hand, I recognize the potential and recognize the talent. He’s at least a year away from being a functional NFL quarterback.
Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
No surprises here. I’ve said before I think Tannehill has been a little overhyped by the draft process, but I agree with colleague Todd McShay that the upside is undeniable. This really is the best setting for Tannehill, too. We know Miami lacks a long-range plan at quarterback, and while Tannehill isn’t an immediate starter, you take him for the promise. Joe Philbin gets another young project to take on. He’s succeeded with young QBs before.
Rob Rang, CBSSports.com: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
With only 19 career starts at the quarterback position, Tannehill is clearly a work in progress. Each of those starts, however, came under Mike Sherman, who after being let go as the Aggies’ head coach was hired by new Miami head coach Joe Philbin to run his offense. Tannehill possesses the physical traits to warrant a top ten selection and he’s no projection in this offense — it is the same one he’s played the past two seasons.
Michael Lombardi, NFL Network: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
No matter what they say before or after the pick, this is the player they wanted all offseason.
Scott Wright, DraftCountdown.com: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
To say this offseason hasn’t gone as planned for the Dolphins would be an understatement. Miami was rebuffed by both Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn and was forced to settle on David Garrard, who wasn’t even in the league last year, as a stop-gap solution at quarterback. At this point it appears as though the Dolphins are putting all of their eggs in one basket and hoping that Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill is available at #8. Some may view this as a reach but there are many teams that view Tannehill as a legitimate first round talent and he is certainly a much better prospect than Christian Ponder, who went #12 overall last year. Tannehill only compiled 19 career starts for the Aggies but that lack of experience could also be viewed as a positive because if he is already this good just imagine where he could be in two or three years. Physically Tannehill has all the tools, including prototypical size, above average athleticism and enough arm strength to make all the throws, plus his intangibles such as maturity, intelligence, work ethic and leadership are outstanding. Also, don’t underestimate the fact Dolphins Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman coached Tannehill in college. Miami could also use a pass rusher (North Carolina DE Quinton Coples), an offensive tackle (Riley Reiff of Iowa), a wide receiver (Michael Floyd of Notre Dame) and a safety (Mark Barron of Alabama) but it’s difficult to envision them passing on Tannehill and they may even explore trading up to ensure they get their guy.
Chris Nelson, Phins-Spotlight.com: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
I’ve gone back and forth so many times on this pick, and I don’t think the Dolphins would do it simply to add a quarterback. But Tannehill is impressive and would have a smooth transition into the Dolphins’ offense, so I think they’ll end up taking him if he’s on the board here.
Evan Silva, ProFootballTalk.com: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Picking Tannehill gives G.M. Jeff Ireland some job security.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.