Tannehill at third, no at eight, no at 22. Floyd will leap over Justin Blackmon. No, he’ll fall all the way to 20. Getting nauseous?
For a former WR with only 19 collegiate quarterback starts, Mr. Tannehill has quite the little bit of steam going into Thursday’s “selection meeting.” NFL.com’s Adam Rank put it best when he said that the former Aggie, “shot up the draft boards of quarterback-starved teams.”
At the lower end of the probability scale, the Kansas City Chiefs are still interested, but (as with the subterranean Peyton Manning flirtation) they are very close-lipped about it all. It must be the Bill Belichick training that Romeo Crennel internalized.
Meanwhile, Peter King reports that on Sunday night a rumor re-surfaced that the Seattle Seahawks were considering leaping ahead of the Miami Dolphins to snag the Texas A&M QB with the eighth pick. Although I’m not sure that the ‘Hawks really qualify as “quarterback-starved.”
ESPN’s Mike Sando adds, “[Pete] Carroll and general manager John Schneider continue to speak glowingly of Tannehill.”
Honestly, Pete Carroll thinks he’s so clever: as if it somehow benefits his team to pretend that he is the poster boy for draft misdirection. While he’s been known to be greedy in the QB department and to make some inexplicable personnel decisions, it’s doubtful that any such leaping would be a good choice for a team that just spent $15.5 million on Matt Flynn.
One has to feel for Flynn: first Peyton Manning and now his new coach is salivating over rookies!
If Seattle has more than talk in mind regarding the young signal caller, they will probably have to exhibit some assertive tradesmanship.
When one types “Ryan Tannehill” into the nfl.com search box, the first three entries that appear all cite ProFootballTalk’s story (confirmed by Peter King in his Monday Morning Quarterback article) that the man in Miami pushing hardest for acquisition of the Aggie passer is Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross.
Of course, on Monday, Jeff Ireland denied that Ross makes personnel decisions. In fact, Ireland repeated it a few times. Well, that’s convincing.
The owner wants Ryan Tannehill. That solidifies him as the No. 3 quarterback—with a bullet.
Does anyone remember what happened to Jeff Fisher when he refused to play owner-favorite Vince Young? Cautionary tale, that.
On the other hand, the last time the Miami Dolphins took a QB with their first pick was in 1983 for, you guessed it, Dan Marino.
If Mr. Ross wants Tannehill, the front office should spend their time figuring out what to do with the rest of the draft. One would suggest a WR to replace Brandon Marshall. Or perhaps the celebrity-owned ‘Fins were expecting Tannehill to throw it to himself?
With three possible suitors, Tannehill will probably be a top-10 draft selection. Cleveland is not on this list because drafting a new and unproven rookie QB would be insane. Wait...
ESPN analyst Bill Polian (who knows just a little about drafting a quarterback) is a fan. On Bill Parcells’ Draft Confidential, the former NFL Executive of the Year praised Tannehill. Polian is impressed with the young man's athleticism and attitude:
He’s so dedicated to football that while he was playing wide receiver, he was attending the quarterbacks’ meetings.
Mel Kiper’s not so sure:
The bottom line is that while Tannehill might have a lot of talent, the draft process has pushed up his stock somewhat artificially because of guys who aren't in the draft...
Matt Barkley anyone?
The real bottom line is that if Ryan Tannehill’s former coach, Mike Sherman, and the Miami front office decide to ignore (at their peril) Stephen Ross’ preference—there will be a draft free-for-all as Kansas City and Seattle pull their best Machiavellian backstage maneuvers in pursuit of the next NFL franchise QB.
Or, will everyone back off and start second-guessing?
If Miami doesn't grab him, and they got Mike Sherman there, the teams behind them are going to start questioning, what the hell are we doing taking him?
—ProFootballTalk on Twitter via rotoworld.com
No sign of front office cold feet so far.
Michael Floyd is a big, physical guy that's a natural hand-snatcher. [He’s] one of the best, maybe the best wide receiver blocker in this draft.
—Mike Mayock to The Sporting News
This WRing stud has visited the Rams, Titans, Jets, Bengals, 49ers ,Dolphins, Cardinals and Vikings. The Bears were at Floyd's pro day.
This weekend’s news flash was that Cardinals’ WR Larry Fitzgerald would like Mr. Floyd to join him in the desert. Translation: Fitzgerald would like to see less triple coverage.
Regardless of the real reason for Fitzgerald’s endorsement, it instantly gave Michael Floyd a “street cred” that no scout could have bestowed. And that may come into play Thursday night.
Because Larry is realistic, tweeting Tuesday:
Blackmon won't get out of the top 5 picks. No chance
3:25 PM - 24 Apr 12
Translation: Take Floyd at 13.
It may go down that way, but the St. Louis Rams held private workouts with Floyd, Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon and Baylor’s Kendall Wright. Heaven knows, Sam Bradford could use a legit target (or two or three).
Not to be ignored are the Bengals. Cincinnati’s A.J. Green holds the same high opinion of the former Golden Domer and “wouldn’t mind” having him pull on some tiger stripes.
Michael Floyd is without doubt a physical specimen and, according to Mayock above, can truly catch.
Character concerns come into play after Floyd’s multiple alcohol-related incidents. But Justin Blackmon also had a DUI and Floyd has thus far said all of the right things. Time will tell.
Skip Bayless, on ESPN’s First Take, is one of the few going out on the limb and declaring Floyd a better selection than Justin Blackmon. His opinion is that despite being bigger, Floyd is more explosive than Blackmon. Of course, Bayless is ESPN’s resident limb-sitter, so take it with a grain of salt.
Most analysts are holding pat on the position that Blackmon doesn’t separate as well as last year’s A. J. Green or Julio Jones and that Floyd separates one degree lower than Blackmon. Hmmm.
This traditional wisdom and most mock drafts project that
- The Rams will take Justin Blackmon with the sixth pick
- If they do not, then the Jaguars will take Blackmon with the seventh
- If Blackmon went earlier, the Jaguars will pick Floyd instead—they desperately need a WR
- If Michael Floyd is still available at No. 9, do not be shocked if Carolina takes the opportunity to grab a receiver, though most expect a defensive selection here
- The Bills might do exactly the same thing if Carolina does not take Floyd
- After KC and Seattle either sensibly take defenders or become irrational and hop all over creation to pick up Tannehill, the Cardinals will probably
- Select offensive lineman Riley Reiff (sorry Larry)
- If Mr. Lloyd has not yet been plucked, he will end up in Chicago at 19 or Tennessee at 20. And the Bears or Titans will be ecstatic to have him.
Who knows? If pigskin history has taught us anything it is that, for all the hours and money poured into this process by every NFL team, nobody knows. Just like Jim Mora said.
Given the bust percentages, it’s truly tempting to agree with ESPN Tuesday Morning Quarterback Gregg Easterbrook: “Anybody could run a draft.”
For those of you with friends who aren't quite as football obsessed, check out my Tips for Surviving NFL Draft Weekend.