Being stuck with the number eight pick, the Dolphins won't have a shot at Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III either. Because of this, the Dolphins have heavily scouted quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who played under their current offensive coordinator Mike Sherman while at Texas A&M.
This includes Thursday's pro day at College Station, where Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin and much-maligned general manager Jeff Ireland spent the day scouting out the 23-year-old prospect.
Not in attendance was Sherman, former Texas A&M head coach who worked with Tannehill during his five seasons (one as a redshirt freshman). However, his time coaching Tannehill led to Sherman having nothing but good things to say about his former quarterback (who also played receiver) :
He was a receiver for us for two and a half years. He had over 1,000 yards receiving...Like all good quarterbacks he had great poise. Very confident in any system, west coast or not, any quarterback has to be confident in his own skin and believe in himself. They always say a great quarterback makes those around him better. I thought [Brett] Favre did that. I think Aaron Rodgers does that. I think Tannehill does that as well.
Based off of those great words to say, you would think that Tannehill would be a shoe-in at number eight for the Dolphins as well as the smartest pick they could make, right?
Well, not so fast. Sherman cited his stats at wide receiver (which were very good—catching 112 passes for 1,596 yards and 10 touchdowns). Yet, what about his quarterback stats, because Miami would draft him to be a quarterback and all?
Tannehill has thrown for 5,450 yards, 42 touchdowns and 21 interceptions and a completion of 62.5 percent in 24 games (he started 20 of them) for an all time quarterback rating of 134.2.
However, that quarterback ranking is by college standards. Equate those into NFL numbers and his quarterback rating is 90.3. Here's a breakdown of the differences between the NFL and NCAA passer ratings.
Matt Moore's quarterback rating in 2011: 87.06. Is a 3.24 jump in quarterback rating a substantial enough upgrade to consider using a first round pick on a quarterback?
And what about the most important stat of all: wins?
Sherman hitched his wagon to Tannehill as his quarterback the last two years at Texas A&M; with Tannehill, his record was 13-7 in his starts. Not bad, but far from great. More importantly in college football is his record against ranked opponents: 2-5.
Sorry, but that's not exactly what I'd want to see in a winner. You can be confident in yourself; in fact, I'm pretty confident in my three-point-shot. But notice how I'm not playing in the NBA right now.
Also note that Sherman didn't become the Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator because they bowled him over with a better offer. Texas A&M fired him (due to A&M's lack of success during Sherman's tenure, not because of Tannehill). How well Tannehill does will reflect on Sherman, as Tannehill was his last project at A&M. So, of course, he won't have anything but positives to say about Tannehill (in public that is).
Is Tannehill really worth it? Everything I present here tells me no. Tannehill, you see, is like the girl at the club at 3am and the Dolphins are, well, drunk and desperate. They need to take a girl (or in this case, quarterback) home, or else their night (the offseason) will look like a failure.
But the bigger failure would be the Dolphins reaching for Tannehill, whether it be by trading up with Minnesota to grab him ahead of Cleveland (a terrible idea, especially as the Dolphins could be desperate enough to make a trade similar to Washington's trade with St. Louis to grab Robert Griffin III), or even at the number eight pick (which if Alabama running back Trent Richardson is still available at that pick becomes more valuable than it already is and should be auctioned off to the highest bidder).
Instead, the Dolphins should be content with Moore at least for this season and pick players that meet more pressing needs, such as pass rusher or right guard/right tackle. If they take care of one of those positions with their first round pick, then the second round would be a better chance to get a good quarterback, like Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden (look past his age, you will see that he has the tools to be a great quarterback in the league).
I know the temptation for the Dolphins and their fans is to pick a quarterback in the first round; however, keep in mind that, while first round quarterbacks are more likely to succeed than quarterbacks taken in lower rounds, sometimes a quarterback is selected in the first round because a team needs a quarterback and there's a dearth of good ones available (in other words, the girl at 3am at the club situation).
If Matt Barkley and Landry Jones entered the draft this year, Ryan Tannehill would be a second rounder. He's like the girl that's a five or six showing up at a party that has a three-to-one guy to girl ratio.
Don't just settle on that. When you wake up the next morning, you always wind up regretting it. The Miami Dolphins already have more than enough regrets in the last 10 years.
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