The 2012 NFL Draft is nearly upon us—Thursday, April 26, at 8 p.m. ET, to be precise—and we already know how the top two draft picks will go.
In an earth-shattering report last week, we were stunned to learn that the Indianapolis Colts will be drafting Andrew Luck (insert overly-dramatic gasp here). In other breaking news, the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.
The Washington Redskins certainly didn’t trade up to the No. 2 draft position to take a kicker. No, they’re going with Robert Griffin III.
The consensus No. 3 quarterback in the 2012 NFL Draft is Ryan Tannehill out of Texas A&M, and by most accounts, we should expect to see Tannehill go to the Miami Dolphins with the No. 8 pick. Tannehill’s former college head coach is Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, and maybe Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is pushing for Tannehill and maybe he isn’t.
It’s also pretty widely agreed that Tannehill is not the 8th-most talented player in the NFL Draft—or anywhere close to it. For example, Yahoo! Sports has him ranked at No. 33 which, in the completely absurd scenario that teams go right down that particular list, has Tannehill going to the Colts with the first pick of the second round, presumably backing up Luck.
That’s not gonna happen, of course.
Instead, our money is on Tannehill heading to South Beach at No. 8. And with that pick, the Dolphins will once again be swinging and missing at the quarterback position.
Tannehill, for those who aren’t aware, is a converted wide receiver. Granted, he played quarterback in high school, but until the final six games of his junior season at Texas A&M, he was a wide receiver. He went 5-1 as a starter in 2010 but only 7-6 during the 2011 season—one in which the Aggies became renowned for blowing huge halftime leads on their way from a No. 8 preseason national ranking to playing in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in December.
So NFL scouts have a grand total of 19 games’ worth of film on Tannehill, and he led his team to a ho-hum 12-7 record and a disastrous 2011 season. We couldn’t even see him perform at the 2012 NFL Combine because he broke his foot preparing for the Senior Bowl, which was another missed opportunity to see him play.
Ryan Tannehill, then, is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. We have absolutely no idea if he’s the second coming of Dan Marino or the next Ryan Leaf.
There’s not even a history of success in the NFL for Texas A&M quarterbacks to give us any kind of indication that he’ll prosper on the big stage. In fact, odds are overwhelming that he won’t.
This is who the Dolphins are blowing their No. 8 pick on?
Tannehill has apparently been tearing it up in pre-draft workouts, and that’s great, but if he goes to Miami in the first round, the Dolphins are reaching way too far for such an untested commodity.
They have so many other needs—wide receiver, pass rusher, safety, tight end, just to name a few—that they really should trade down in the first round and pick up some additional draft picks. They should still be able to take Tannehill, but at a discounted price and with a couple extra picks in their pocket.
Even if someone like the Cleveland Browns or the Seattle Seahawks throw the Dolphins a curve and take Tannehill in the first round, there’s still Brandon Weeden out of Oklahoma State who beat Tannehill on the field head-to-head and who took the Cowboys a lot farther than Tannehill took the Aggies in 2011. Weeden also has a much longer resume at quarterback than Tannehill.
There are plenty of options for the Dolphins in the 2012 NFL Draft, but taking Ryan Tannehill at No. 8 overall doesn’t appear to be the best one.