Monday, April 2, 2012

Ryan Tannehill, This Year's Christian Ponder

Over the past three NFL drafts, we have seen certain quarterbacks drafter much higher than they should be, simply because of the extreme importance of the position.  In 2009, it was Mark Sanchez at 5th overall, after Stafford was selected and the Jets were desperate for a QB.  In 2010, it was Tim Tebow at 25th overall, who most pundits agreed was a 3rd round talent with a position change in his future.  In 2011, it was Christian Ponder, a man we didn't hear much of in college despite being the starting quarterback at perennial powerhouse Florida State.  According to recent reports, the 2012 draft will be no different, as many expect Ryan Tannehill to be selected no later than 8th overall.

Tannehill is the most perplexing quarterback case I have seen, simply because I just don't understand what scouts see in him.  He was nothing more than average at Texas A&M behind a fantastic offensive line that only allowed 9 sacks all season.  He was in a Mike Sherman pro-style offense against some of the worst defenses in college football in the Big 12.  So for all those "draft gurus" to say that he will suddenly develop into an All-Pro quarterback while under more duress playing a faster NFL game, I say they are crazy.

The point is--Tannehill seems to have skills, and he is definitely rough around the edges.  He could blossom into a good NFL quarterback, but you just can't spend a top 10 pick on a guy when all signs point to him failing at the next level, especially with the level of talent at other positions in this year's draft.  Whoever takes Tannehill is kidding themselves, because there are only two first-round talents at the quarterback position in this year's draft.

Potentially, We could see the Browns, Dolphins, Chiefs, and Eagles all make a play for Tannehill.  Some pundits believe that a team could move up as high as the third pick to take Tannehill.  The 1-2-3 quarterback punch isn't unprecedented, as it happened in 1999 with Tim Couch-Donovan Mcnabb-Akili Smith.  Not exactly the best precedent for these three quarterbacks.

If Tannehill is selected 3rd overall, he will go down as one of the biggest draft busts in recent NFL history.  Even if he is selected in the first round, he won't live up to his draft status.  You can talk about potential and skill sets all you want, but when you can't put that skill set to work in college, as Tannehill proved he couldn't, then it's very hard to see success in the NFL.  The guy was already destined to fail based on his collegiate statistics.  Add a lofty draft status and unreachable expectations, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Good luck, Ryan Tannehill.  You'll need it.

1 comment:

  1. Spot on CHoof. Tannehill being rated this highly is an absolute enigma. Texas A+M's season was highlighted by 6 second-half collapses following halftime leads. Tannehill disappeared in every game. He will shrink in the NFL spotlight.