If the Miami Dolphins are trying to hide the fact that they’re interested in Ryan Tannehill, they’re doing a terrible job of it. The Dolphins have been linked more with Ryan Tannehill than any other player and team not named Luck or Griffin III. Are the Dolphins simply posturing in hopes of drafting someone else? Or do they actually love Ryan Tannehill as much as is being reported? We may know in 2 weeks…or we may never know.
Brian Billick, the Super Bowl winning coach of the Ravens, cautioned the Dolphins about Tannehill. Billick said on Mike and Mike (ESPN Radio) this morning that he is ‘concerned a great deal’ with how quickly Tannehill has risen on draft boards. Billick went on to compare Tannehill to former #1 overall pick, JaMarcus Russell, in terms of their physical ability (strong arm/mechanics) and their lack of college playing experience. Billick went on “Here is Ryan Tannehill, who was not thought of this highly at the end of the season after you looked at the film, but has shot up the ranks because what we’ve seen of him in shorts. All of a sudden now we’re talking about him being a top 3 pick? That’s a dangerous area.”
Billick said that Tannehill has a lot of potential, but that potential can get coaches fired. He also said that ” ‘need’ is an absolute terrible evaluator”. He was talking about the Dolphins or other teams trying so badly to fill a need on their roster, that they elevate players on their draft boards.
Later Todd McShay came on the show and completely disagreed with Billick’s assessment of Tannehill and said the comparison to JaMarcus Russell was ‘crazy’. Regarding Billick’s point about Tannehill’s stock rising only after the season was over, this is debatable, at best. Gil Brandt of NFL.com and others have suggested time and time again that Tannehill was considered a 1st round pick before the season ended. So yes, Tannehill’s stock has moved him, possibly into the top 10, but he was projected as a first round pick anyway.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter what Brian Billick thinks about Ryan Tannehill. It doesn’t matter what Todd McShay or Mel Kiper or anyone in the media thinks of Tannehill. IF the Dolphins think he can be a franchise QB in the NFL, they should take him at #8. I would not be on board with moving up to get him (say, trading a future 1st rounder to move up to #3), because there are other options at QB. But, if Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman like Tannehill, I trust their judgement. After all, Mike Sherman was the kid’s coach at Texas A&M. He knows him better than any other person in the NFL. Having said all of that, if the Dolphins chose to pass on Tannehill, what does that say about their perception of him?
The draft is exactly 2 weeks away and we’ll finally know what the Dolphins come away with. Remember, they have 4 picks in the top 74 this year, so they will (hopefully) come out with 4 starters. Having 2 third rounds is also good ammunition for Jeff Ireland to move around to get players the Dolphins have targeted. But, if they don’t trade any of the picks away, I’d expect them to come out of the first 3 rounds with a quarterback, a pass rusher, at least 1 wide receiver, and possibly a tight end or offensive lineman. I can’t wait for it to get here!