Friday, March 30, 2012

Three Teams Looking Hard at Tannehill: Others Peaking Through the Fence?

Texas A&M's former QB Ryan Tannehill finally had his day before the NFL evaluators yesterday and from all accounts, he did not disappoint. He hit practically all his passes and showed observers he can perform the requisite moves for the position--and he also ran with respectable speed (4.62 in the 40-yard dash). His foot appeared to be 100% as well.

While Tannehill is considered a grade below the two top QBs in this year's draft, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, many believe he is the best of the remaining class. All three top quarterbacks played their high school ball in Texas.

The Indianapolis Colts, who have the first pick, released Peyton Manning and are expected to grab Andrew Luck. Many believe Luck can perform very quickly at the NFL level. Second in line in this year's draft is the Washington Redskins and they are expected to snatch Robert Griffin III, who likewise looks both gifted and NFL ready. Even if the Colts decided to take Griffin, most believe the Redskins would grab Luck.

Three teams that have been reported to be most interested in a QB after the Colts and the Redskins are Cleveland Browns (picking 4th), the Miami Dolphins (picking 8th) and the Seattle Seahawks (picking 12th). But you have to wonder if there were a few others peaking through the fence as well--not expressing an interest, but quietly evaluating and putting Tannehill on their "draft-if-available" list.

Cleveland is difficult to read, but in my opinion from the coaches quotes there seems to be a certain lack of satisfaction with the team's young QB, Colt McCoy. They are either trying to light a fire under McCoy or quietly looking for a replacement. McCoy is slightly undersized by NFL QB standards and he suffered a concussion last year.

Miami has been severely criticized from many quarters about the team's direction and development. They have Matt Moore at QB and added David Garrard from Carolina. Moore who is 27 years old carried a 60.5% completion rate and an 87.1 rating in 2011. Garrard was 64.5% and had a 90.8 rating, but he is 34 years old. Frankly, both quarterback numbers are not bad, but some Miami fans are still looking for another Dan Marino to carry the team.

There has been a difference of opinion from scouts and other talent evaluators about whether Tannehill should be a first round selection. Some believe that like some other young quarterbacks, he could get thrown under the bus if selected by an NFL team that wants him to play before he's ready. Some NFL analysts suggest that if a young QB is thrown into games before he has time to mature, not only is he destined to fail his first few seasons, but such failure takes its toll on his confidence level and career.

Tannehill does not have nearly the QB experience as Luck (three full seasons at QB)and Griffin (three seasons) because he played wide receiver in his first 2 1/2 years in college. When he did take over at QB, the Aggies ended the season at 9-4 in 2010 and 7-6 in 2011. Most people believe that he may have tremendous talent, but he will need NFL seasoning.

Tannehill has been training with Director of IMG Madden Football Academy, Chris Weinke, who is known for his program that helps prepare QBs for the NFL. Observers at yesterday's event have given Weinke praise for his work to help improve Tannehill's pro-skills.

Where Tannehill falls in the draft remains a mystery, but based on scouting feedback from yesterday's workout, it sounds like he will definitely be a first rounder.
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Sporting Chance Press is the publisher of Patrick McCaskey's Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout and other fine sports books. Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout is a personal chronicle of Chicago Bears Senior Director Patrick McCaskey that looks back at decades of spiritual enrichment and life lessons from athletes, coaches, religious and everyday people. McCaskey recalls the stories of those who strived to make the cut on and off the field—plus people who left comfortable lives to serve the underserved in extraordinary ways.

1 comment:

  1. Any team should be happy to aquire Tannehill. He shows lots of strengths and leadership and will definitely go very far in the NFL.

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