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Draft Profile: Ryan Tannehill
By on March 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm

As the process has played out leading up to April’s draft, former Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill has shot up draft boards.

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.

“He waits for routes to develop before he throws the football; in other words, he lacks anticipation,” Mayock said. “That’s not atypical for a lot of young quarterbacks, especially ones that only have a year-and-a-half of starting under their belts.”
It is hard to judge where Tannehill will project in the NFL because he only made 19 career starts at quarterback. Some, though, feel given his level of experience, Tannehill is right where he needs to be.  Todd McShay, Kiper’s colleague at ESPN, sees a quarterback who is progressing at a nice rate.
“I think he’s just a lot more consistent with his ball placement than he’s given credit for,” McShay said. “When you add that up, plus the intangibles, which are through the roof with him, I think he has a chance to be a good starter.”
Because of the unique variables–a position change, inexperience and a questionable supporting cast–Tannehill could be a boom or bust pick.

“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.”


Please Note:
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.
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dolphins157 says:

I dont understand the Tannehill hype. I know management is going to go after him because they are horrible with decisions but heres how i think Miami should draft. 1st Melvin Ingram, DE South Carolina. 2nd (Trade 1 3rd and 4th this year and maybe a 4th next year to Jacksonville therefore 2 2nd rounders) Brock Osweiler, QB Arizona St. 2nd Alshon Jeffery, WR South Carolina. 3rd Donald Stephenson, OT Oklahoma. then with 5th rounder take a DB and sign a veteren free agent safety like Sean Jones until next years draft where you go first round defensive back. I think this is costly but managable and worth it. All players who could be starters and producers for this Dolphins team. Osweiler in my book has more upside than Tannehill and with a bigger frame, search him. Any Thoughts?

aubrey13 says:

Your right HvyOnEz!!!! Trade up to get Trent!! He will make any QB better. Ireland and Ross, Richardson best player in draft and could take Matt Moore from good to GREAT! Defence with 2nd pick…..QB 3rd or 4th. Find the diamond in the rough reciver in the draft. Beef up already good defence. I live in Pa. and bought season tics for first time ever this year….give me reasons to make that trip 8 times!!!!!!

cotta34 says:

Melvin Ingram please.

Tannehill will be a decent player in the NFL. I’m still a little shaky on some points of his playing ability. However, with that in mind, he’s not the type of player that you should NEED to give up MANY picks for. Especially making the jump from 8 to 4. The Dolphins are a lot of key pieces away from winning a division title, let alone a Super Bowl. So at #8, you have to look and see if there are any people available that can immediately help your team. A pass rusher opposite Cam Wake would be huge. Taking care of the defense and ensuring that we’re not being blown out will help calm down the offense and make a few plays in our favor. It’s stressful on a QB to have to play from behind every game. Matt Moore finished with a 6-3 record, now imagine what he could do if he had a great defense playing consistently. Then plug in some of the other needs as the draft goes on. Losing Marshall was huge, but utilize those picks, and maybe you don’t get Tannehill, but there is a viable winner in Moore. He’s not a flashy guy, or even one that people trust. But put weapons around him. Still a few names out there that are worth shots just to get a chance. I have faith. Not expecting a 16-0 season, nor even a 10-win season. But rebuilding with younger guys and in the next 2-3 years there could be good things.

wkloiber says:

Tannehill is a good fit for us at 8, he’d be an even better fit if we could trade back and still get him, but at 8 there is some value. But only because of the amount of time Mike Sherman our offensive coordinator has already spent with the kid. We’ll know better than any other staff whether or not Tannehill has the “stuff” to be a great quarterback at the next level. I expect he’ll be there at 8, and I also expect we’ll take him.
I think our staff was lukewarm on Flynn because they saw Flynn as more of a stop gap until Tannehill was ready to play, rather than the long term starter Flynn wanted to be. That’s why we lowballed him, and that’s why he’s being overpaid by Seattle right now.
The Dolphins are making smart moves lately, they’re not overpaying for free agents, they’re getting themselves under the cap so they can sign all of their rookies and possibly some other free agents, and they’re still building this team through the draft. I like what we’re doing, which is playing it cool until the draft.

HvyOnEz says:

CAP makes it not likely, but please stay away from free agent M. Wallace

HvyOnEz says:

Bush is a good back but he has only completed one full season since coming into the NFL.
Please do not diminish the benefits of a great running attack – running well almost got us back in the playoff hunt last season.
—- Dan Marino never got his ring because we lacked a running attack (one-dimensional). —- Without Terrell Davis, Elway would never have gotten his rings either.
—- Green Bay and New England lost to the Giants because they were one-dimensional.

—- Trent Richardson in R1
—- Since we failed to get RG3, if we have to take a QB, take Brandon Weeden in R2 or Cousins in R3. – please don’t force a high pick with Tanahill
—- I would prefer a WR in R2.
—- Finish with OL and DB’s R3/R4-R7.

fins phan says:

Trent Richardson, Matt Kalil USC or Justin Blackmon from OSU….please don’t take Tannehill in the first round … We are horrible at first round picks with the exception of Jake Long……..PLEASE MGMT don’t suck it up this year too. I’d wait to draft a qb in the lower rounds such as Brandon WEeden from OSU, Case Keenum from Houston, or Russel Wilson Wisconsin. . . .

HvyOnEz says:

I like Fins Phan too…

HvyOnEz says:

Please no QB @ pick 4 – trade back or pick up OSU QB in round 2. Trent Richardson will help either of our QB’s much better. Richardson @ pick 4….

aubrey13 says:

Hey bosses….lets get this kid if around!! If not,Trent Rchardson if available and any defencive Alabama playerear for early 2nd pick!!! Hell Drew Brees isn’t signed! Pay that man and take him from New Orleans which we already blew one time. Come on Ross and Ireland…MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!!! And Matt Moore deserveshis chance. Gared not good fit!