When it comes to the NFL draft, the quarterback position is all about supply and demand, and in 2012 the demand for a franchise quarterback has never been higher. As a result, Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be taken in the top ten of the draft. There’s no need to rehash Tannehill’s career statistics in college or debate the merits of his accuracy, arm strength, and pocket awareness, just know that we (the media) have a lot more say in where a team will select Tannehill than his mechanics and collegiate career will.
I’ll say it right now, I have no idea how good Tannehill can be at the next level or whether or not he’s even the next best quarterback on the board after RG3 and Luck. With that said, I’ve had to rely on what I’m being told. Right now I’m being told that Ryan Tannehill is a franchise quarterback worthy of being taken in the early part of the first round.
A couple months ago Tannehill was considered a late first round/early second round pick. Now, he’s projected to possibly go fourth overall. What’s changed in the last couple of months? Did Tannehill begin a cycle of a not yet traceable PED? Did he put on 30 pounds of pure muscle? Did he shrink two inches and become more mobile? Were his pro day workouts and combine performance just that impressive? Or did we simply look down at the draft order, realize the Cleveland Browns were sitting there without a franchise quarterback, and went about re-evaluating Tannehill with a open mind? (Hint: It’s the last one.)
A quarterbacks draft value is very much a snowball effect. Ever since the Redskins traded up to the number two pick we were forced to take a hard second look at Tannehill. The Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, and Kansas Chiefs forced us to. The current “pass happy,” quarterback driven league forced us to. The desire to obtain this franchise quarterback forced us to. Like Mark Sanchez in 2009, Ryan Tannehill is the quarterback who, for an array of various reasons, has benefitted from this snowball. In theory, he’s not worth a first round selection. Simply put, he’s a pretty big gamble. The thing is though, he’s not a gamble in a sense because he’s a quarterback who could potentially be great. He’s hope. Hope sells, and hope drives up value.
None of what all the “experts” say and mock should matter because at the end of the day the teams drafting have the final say in where a player will ultimately be taken; they’re the one’s with the advanced scouting departments. However, all of these Tannehill projections and evaluations that we stumble across in our Twitter feeds do matter. They matter because they’re all for the fans, and in the year 2012 NFL fans matter. They matter a lot.
If I’m your typical casual fan and I’m not particularly comfortable with my teams quarterback situation, I’m not sitting at home dissecting film of Tannehill. I’m looking at all the mock drafts that say Tannehill will go in the top ten. I’m reading scouting reports on the internet and I’m conveniently ignoring all the “downsides” of a quarterback prospect in the process because, well, this is a quarterback driven league and my teams current quarterback situation isn’t doing anything to justify that.
In other words, I’m doing everything to convince myself that this is “The Guy” for my team. Once I’m convinced of that, there’s no turning back. And guess what, when they don’t I’m not going to be happy. Sure I’ll get over it once my team storms to a surprising 5-2 mark to open the season. But that’s a big "if."
Keep in mind, I am a fan of an NFL team. Not just that, I’m a fan of an NFL team that does not have an elite quarterback. I am completely irrational, I live and breath on hindsight, I won’t hesitate to second guess, I’m capable of ditching my season tickets, I’m capable of starting “Fire (insert name of coach, GM, President)” Facebook groups. I can call up local radio shows and unleash hell if need be. I can go as far as to make ‘attending a game’ the least enjoyable experience for anyone sitting in a 100 foot radius of me. I can make it so that others would rather stay at home and watch the game from their living rooms rather than going to the stadium.
I’m a NFL fan, I'm Mayhem...and I am the reason Ryan Tannehill will be a first round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.