Ryan Tannehill entered the NFL with a handful of rookie quarterbacks that took the league by storm, immediately eliciting comparisons to the legendary 1983 quarterback class, which featured Dan Marino, John Elway and Jim Kelly, among others.
Tannehill, of course, was taken after Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, with the Dolphins scooping up the former Texas A&M Aggie with the eighth overall pick.
But where would he fit in if he were in this year’s draft?
NFL.com’s Gil Brandt, the longtime Dallas Cowboys scout, told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King that the Dolphins’ quarterback’s stock would certainly rise.
“I don’t think when we look at this draft five years from now that we’ll have as many Pro Bowlers in the top 10 than you had in either of the last two drafts,” Brandt said. “Like, I think if Ryan Tannehill were in this draft, he’d be the top pick — and he was [eighth] last year.
Geno Smith, the West Virginia quarterback, is expected to be the first quarterback taken later this month, but it’s still pretty unclear where he could end up. Handicapping this draft class has been difficult because, unlike last year, there is a lot of volatility at the top. A quarterback may not end up in the top 10, though Smith seems to fit the mold. He’s tall, athletic and could potentially fit into a scheme that mixes in zone read and Pistol.
But a weak class could affect Smith’s stock as much as anything, leading him to the first quarterback-hungry team that is ready to make the pick.
If he was pressed to choose either Tannehill or Smith, without knowledge of how Tannehill fared during his rookie season, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout, gives the slight nod to the former.
“What I loved about him coming out was his decision-making – the ability to process from one to three,” Jermiah said. “You saw him go through his progressions very quickly, took very few sacks.”
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