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Ryan Tannehill Could Be Factor in Direction the Pittsburgh Steelers' Draft Goes

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Texas A&M Aggies throws a pass against the Texas Longhorns in the first half of a game at Kyle Field on November 24, 2011 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
Darren Carroll/Getty Images
Joseph BrunoCorrespondent IApril 14, 2012

As we get closer to the draft, there is going to be a ton of speculation about where players will go.

Former Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill has seen his stock rise so much that there is a chance he could go third overall in the draft.

The Cleveland Browns and the Miami Dolphins are the two teams most linked to Tannehill at this point.

There is a thought that the Dolphins would have to trade up to that third spot ahead of the Browns to be able to get him.

I for one am not buying that the Browns would really take Tannehill with the fourth pick in the draft, or even with their second pick in the first at 22.

They would be better suited to stand pat, take RB Trent Richardson at four, and then try and trade down from 22 to accumulate more picks.

They would then gain the top running back in the draft and still have a high second round pick to be able to take a receiver like Stephen Hill if he falls or Rueben Randle.

With the Miami Dolphins, they do need a QB for the future; however, I do not think they are thinking as desperately as most have painted them out to be.


COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Texas A&M Aggies throws a pass against the Texas Longhorns in the first half of a game at Kyle Field on November 24, 2011 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
Darren Carroll/Getty Images

At this point, I think they would rather take a guy like OT Riley Reiff to pair with Jake Long, or OLB Melvin Ingram to help out the defense.

If you take a look at the teams between the Dolphins at eight and the Steelers at 24, there really aren’t a lot of teams who need a first round QB.

The only three teams I suspect would even think about taking Tannehill are Kansas City at 11, Arizona at 13 or the aforementioned Cleveland Browns at 22. I’ve already outlined why I don’t see the Browns taking Tannehill at 22; I don’t see Scott Pioli taking a QB with the Chiefs and Arizona just paid, whether they like or not, Kevin Kolb.

So barring the Dolphins or a surprise team trading in front of the Browns, I see Ryan Tannehill still on the board when the Steelers pick at 24.

The Steelers are routinely one of the hardest teams to predict in the draft because they always just allow the draft to come to them and then take the best player available.

I am in no way saying that they would even think about taking Ryan Tannehill; however, the Miami Dolphins may want to trade back into the first round to get him.

I think the Steelers are going to be looking to trade out of the first round and the Dolphins could be the only team to give them that opportunity.


This is how I think the trade would lay out.

Steelers receive:

  • Dolphins 2012 second round pick (42) 480
  • Dolphins 2012 third round pick(72) 230
  • Dolphins 2013 frst round pick


Dolphins receive:

  • Steelers 2012 first round pick(24) 740

To the right of each pick I have put what they are worth, according to the NFL Draft Value Chart.


The Dolphins would be able to get their QB for the future in Tannehill—they would have already added a potentially great player to pair with him with the eighth overall pick, and they would still have a third-round pick.

This trade also allows the Steelers to trade out of the first round and have four picks in the first 86 of the draft.

The Steelers would be able to select a guy like G Kevin Zeitler with their first second-round pick and Alameda Ta’amu with their second second-round pick. Then, they could select G Brandon Brooks with their first third-round pick and maybe a guy like ILB James-Michael Johnson with their final pick in the third round.

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 10:  Offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler #70 of the Wisconsin Badgers blocks against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on October 10, 2009 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

This would be a best case scenario draft for me because they would get two starting guards in Zeitler and Brooks, the future at NT in Ta’amu and a guy to push Stevenson Sylvester at the ILB position while also contributing on special teams.

The only problem with this is that I think there is a good possibility that Ta’amu isn’t there when the Steelers pick at the end of the second round; however, they would still have the opportunity to get Mike Martin or Josh Chapman in the third.

You could make a million different combinations if the Steelers were really able to pull this trade off and it all would hinge on Ryan Tannehill falling to 24 in the draft.

If the Browns really like him or the Dolphins just take him at eight, then obviously this trade won’t happen and the Steelers will just take whoever is on top of their board.

Regardless of what happens, I know the Steelers are going to do a great job. But, I’d really like to see them trade back and be able to fill some of their major needs in the first few rounds.

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