Tannehill, a wide receiver for his first two seasons with the Aggies, has established himself as the “next-best” quarterback prospect behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. His ascent, due in part to the increasing demand for a quarterback as free agency winds down, has put the spotlight on one of the most unique quarterback prospects in years.
Mel Kiper Jr., the ESPN draft analyst who’s been covering the draft since 1979, says he’s never really come across a prospect quite like Tannehill.
“I don’t think there’s anybody that’s come from another position to quarterback who’s going to be a first round pick,” Kiper said. “You don’t see that often, if ever.”
Because Tannehill displayed the athleticism and willingness to play both wide receiver and quarterback, he’s an intriguing prospect on paper.
“He’s got everything you want,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. “He’s a big, strong, fast kid with a really good arm.”
During the evaluation process, much is made of a player’s “measurables,” especially for the highly touted quarterbacks. Robert Cessna, who covers Texas A&M for the Bryan-College Station Eagle,was around Tannehill for four years and says he has an impressive build.
“When you stand beside him, he’s got huge hands. What a specimen!” Cessna said. “This kid is so smart. He could do my job 16 times probably.”
The transition to quarterback was not seamless, though. During Texas A&M’s disappointing 6-6 season, Tannehill had trouble making some of the more difficult passes, resulting in a Big-12 leading 15 interceptions.
“A&M wasn’t able to get over the hump,” Cessna said. “How much of that was Tannehill, how much of it was a poor defense? That’s something that people who make a lot more than I do have to make the decisions.”
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