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Draft Tannehill or not? It’s more than that
My vision is as follows.
It’s April 26th and I’m trembling. The Browns select RB Trent Richardson with the #4 pick. Bucs take CB Morris Claiborne at #5. Rams go with Blackmon at #6. The Jaguars, after bleeding the clock down for a trade-up partner, select WR Michael Floyd at #7.
It’s 8:51 ET. The Dolphins are on the clock at #8. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. After a short commercial break, the opening shot is a teary-eyed Ryan Tannehill on a cell phone with a Miami Dolphins hat on. For the first time in the 28 years I’ve been alive, the Dolphins have selected a QB in the 1st round.
At the conclusion of the draft, Jeff Ireland addresses the media with confidence. “Ryan has been high on our board for a several months, and we felt all along that he had a good chance to be there when we picked. Mike Sherman’s insight on Ryan after coaching him for 4 years at Texas A&M played a cruicial role in the decision, and he fits in perfectly with what we are trying to accomplish. We feel very good at the quarterback position with Ryan, Matt Moore, David Garrard.”
And, scene.We can dream, can’t we?
The arguments against Tannehill are all accurate. He’s a reach at #8. He’s too raw to contribute in 2012. He quarterbacked a Texas A&M team that lost 4 of their last 5. He never had a signature win as a senior. I can’t refute a word of this.
But the arguments FOR Tannehill make more sense. He’s 6-4, 221 pounds with a quick release and great athleticism. Although a work-in-progress, he is every bit the prospect Jake Locker was last year when the Titans took him with the #8 pick. Chris Kouffman of universaldraft.com nailed it “On The Fin Side” a few weeks ago: “I have a hard time understanding anyone who can watch film of Tannehill at Texas A&M and then Jake Locker at Washington and NOT come away thinking Tannehill is the far better and more polished player, even though he played half as much as Locker.”
Tannehill immediately transforms a sloppy and embarrasing off-season, into a well-developed youth movement approved by Joe Philbin. Why did Jeff Ireland pass on Matt Flynn and Alex Smith? Because he wasn’t going to overpay for a slight upgrade when he felt Tannehill would be there at #8 in a watered-down QB market. Sounds like a plan, doesn’t it?
If Ireland passes on Tannehill at #8, it will only cement the notion that the Dolphins are throwing you-know-what at a wall and seeing what sticks at the QB position.
Matt Moore’s final 9 games last season were impressive: 142-232 (61.2%), 1791 yards, 15 TD’s, 5 INT’s. His QB rating in the last 9 games? 97.8. The team went 6-3 and put up an average of 24.7 PPG. These numbers were good enough to snub to snub Flynn and Smith for franchise QB money, and rightfully so.
Now.. if Ireland drafts Tannehill? It shows that he was holding out for a young player with elite capabilities in the long-term, while being competitive with Matt Moore in 2012.
If Jeff Ireland doesn’t draft Tannehill? He will have to explain to the fanbase that Matt Moore is our guy, we believe in him, and he’s the reason why Tannehill, Matt Flynn, and Alex Smith are not here. Oh, yeah, but he also lacks the skills to avoid a head-to-head competition with a 34-year-old QB in David Garrard who didn’t play football last year and was being pursued by no one until Ireland called. Make sense? Didn’t think so.
Tannehill is a risk. It’s time to take it. It’s the only thing that would make sense.
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