Despite an injury that was revealed today to be a significant foot problem that will require surgery, Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill has recently seen his name steadily climb up mock boards in the 2012 NFL draft.
Russ Lande of The Sporting News has Tannehill going No. 8 overall to the Miami Dolphins in his most recent mock draft. Others have him going as high as No. 6 to the Washington Redskins, but a wider range of outlets are projecting him to be a mid first-round pick in April's draft.
TFY Draft Insider had this to say about the rapid climb of Tannehill up draft boards:
One trusted source told me teams are eating up the quarterback's upside potential and described it as “the love affair factor”—teams see what Tannehill can develop into at the next level and can’t stay away.
His athleticism, mobility, toughness and decision-making all has scouts giddy. With Cam Newton, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder coming off the board so early in the 2011 NFL draft, teams now feel they have the green light to select someone such as Tannehill earlier than most anticipate.
Sources are saying don’t be shocked if the Texas A&M product ends up as a top 15 choice, depending on the injury.
But before you lock Tannehill into a top-15 pick, however, take a good look at those last couple of words: "Depending on the injury."
How Tannehill's injury plays out is going to be a huge factor in whether or not he goes as high as he potentially could.
According to TFY's Troy Pauline, Tannehill suffered a broken foot while training for the Senior Bowl this week. He'll likely need surgery on the foot, and his spot has already been replaced on the Senior Bowl roster by San Diego State's Ryan Lindley.
Here's Pauline's tweet:
Ryan Lindley/QB/San Diego St will play in the Senior Bowl. I hear Tannehill's replacement
There's been no official timetable for his return, but Tannehill's presence at the NFL combine could also be in jeopardy.
Injuries like this always tend to have a fear factor involved, and we'll have to see how that effects Tannehill's draft status moving forward. For the time being, his recent momentum doesn't appear to be significantly damaged.
If Tannehill is forced to miss a considerable amount of time this offseason, however, his first-round projection might not come to fruition.