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Draft Profile: Ryan Tannehill

Posted By The Finsiders On March 22, 2012 @ 7:26 pm In Football | 11 Comments

[1]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 [2]. “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 [3]Bryan-College Station Eagle [3],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 [4], 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.”

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URL to article: http://www.thefinsiders.com/blog/2012/draft-profile-ryan-tannehill

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://thefinsiders.com/blog/2012/draft-profile-ryan-tannehill/attachment/tannehill-2

[2] NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said: http://thefinsiders.com/blog/2012/mayock-breaks-down-quarterback-possibilities

[3] Robert Cessna, who covers Texas A&M for the : http://thefinsiders.com/blog/2012/scouting-ryan-tannehill

[4] Todd McShay, Kiper’s colleague at ESPN: http://thefinsiders.com/blog/2012/scouting-the-2012-qb-prospects

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