The Buffalo Bills need a host of things, including a pass-rusher, wide receiver and offensive tackle, but drafting Ryan Tannehill with the 10th overall pick in the upcoming 2012 NFL draft isn't a bad idea.
The former Texas A&M standout would be much more talked-about if not for the insane talent of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Tannehill is a premier player at the position in this draft class, and he possesses many attributes that make him a potential franchise quarterback in Buffalo.
Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey likes to run his offense through a mobile quarterback, like he had in past years with Kordell Stewart or, to a lesser degree, Tyler Thigpen.
Tannehill is a top-notch athlete, having been a wide receiver for his first couple of years at Texas A&M.
Among his many elite characteristics, Tannehill has superior footwork in the pocket, and he can dodge pass-rushers and move in and out of the tackle box with ease. He's not a rushing quarterback, but he will extend the play at the next level and allow his receivers to make plays. Though his experience at the quarterback position is under constant scrutiny, he makes solid decisions in the pocket, and he is able to make throws off-balance.
The Bills haven't had a franchise quarterback since Jim Kelly held the reins. While Ryan Fitzpatrick is a decent player, he will not be the signal-caller to lead Buffalo to the Super Bowl.
Would Ryan Tannehill be a good pick in the first round?
Tannehill is the ideal height for a quarterback, listed at 6'4, and he could be a long-term option for the Bills and push for a spot as soon as this year.
Buffalo has invested a lot in Ryan Fitzpatrick, but this is not an opportunity that the team would be smart to pass up.
Though not the most experienced quarterback, Tannehill is mature and willing to learn the system. He has been saying the right things and would be an instant fan favorite in Buffalo.
Sure, the Bills need a pass-rusher and an offensive lineman, but these needs can be filled through free agency. It's not every year that a team has the opportunity to draft a young quarterback that they can control at a reasonable salary for four to five years.
Tannehill is not Andrew Luck and he's not Robert Griffin III, but he is moving into that tier of quarterbacks in this class and would be a justified pick at number ten overall.