Matt Barkley had the right idea. Rather than declaring for a draft in which he would be considered a distant third amongst Quarterbacks, the Santa Ana native chose to stay in the friendly confines of Southern California. Unfortunately for Ryan Tannehill, he couldn’t go back.

Last year it was Christian Ponder, and this year it will be Tannehill. Both are second tier quarterbacks who find themselves in the first tier of the draft. For the Minnesota Vikings, one could argue Ponder at 12 was a desperation move. No Brett Favre. No Tarvaris Jackson (that’s a good thing). The Vikings were so desperate that an aging QB on his last legs was brought in once again to buy them time (Still love you, Donovan).

This year the team in a tailspin of misfortune is the Miami Dolphins. And the similarities between the Vikings then and Dolphins now are striking. They’ve been spurned by Peyton Manning, traded Brandon Marshall and jettisoned leading tackler Yeremiah Bell. Alex Smith used them for a free trip to South Beach (he’s a smart man), and GM Jeff Ireland is currently the most hated person in South Florida.

With the overall eighth pick in the draft, Ireland has one last card to play this offseason. The question is: will it be Tannehill?

Despite the flack they take, the Mel Kipers and Todd McShays of the world play a huge role in shaping the discourse surrounding the NFL Draft. Let’s take a look at what they are saying about Tannehill.

First, here’s Kiper:

“I don’t think there’s anybody that’s come from another position to quarterback who’s going to be a first round pick,” Kiper said. “You don’t see that often, if ever.”

And now Mike Mayock:

“I don’t put him up there as a once-in-a-lifetime guy,” Mayock said. “I’m not trying to sit here and tell you he’s going to be Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.”

What say you, Robert Cessena?

“When you stand beside him, he’s got huge hands. What a specimen!” Cessna said. “This kid is so smart. He could do my job 16 times probably.”

I bet you’re going to say something about ball placement aren’t you, Todd McShay:

“I think he’s just a lot more consistent with his ball placement than he’s given credit for,” McShay said. “When you add that up, plus the intangibles, which are through the roof with him, I think he has a chance to be a good starter.”

Would you like to add something on the Twitter, Todd?

9th tape of Tannehill…I’ve counted 47 drops. Not a good pace. But he also needs to be smarter under pressure and value ball security more.

Not the most glowing reviews. As Kiper noted, Tannehill played receiver before becoming the Aggies Starting Quarterback. Stephen McGee, the Dallas Cowboys backup you’ve never heard about, beat Tannehill out for the starting job during his sophomore year.

What’s worth highlighting is Tannehill’s play versus the highly touted Robert Griffin the third…

As Gus Johnson so aptly states: This guy can play.

Is he a top 10 pick? For 31 teams in the NFL, probably not.