But really, isn’t every quarterback prospect in training to be a quarterback? So isn’t that just a blatant, click baiting headline? Yes, and I’ll let you decide.
While there’s hype and confidence surrounding Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill–the third best quarterback in this year’s draft who will almost surely be drafted in the top 10–has been greeted with equal doses of intrigue and apprehension. It’s a cycle that can lead to dizziness, because the same physical tools that create the intrigue also feed the apprehension.
We know that he’s athletic and agile, and we know this because he was a stud wide receiver at Texas A&M, finishing with 844 receiving yards and five touchdowns during his freshman year. But his time as a wideout also feeds the sense of caution, because while he shined as a quarterback, he only had one full season as a starter.
The most widely projected landing spot for Tannehill in mock drafts is still Miami at No. 8. But in a passing league, the Browns should be giving him a serious look. The challenge for GM Tom Heckert is to sift through the widespread Tannehill forecasts to determine if he truly deserves his first-round value, or if he’s been unjustly pushed by a perceived lack of elite quarterbacks beyond Luck and Griffin, just like Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert were last year.
I’m still a believer that although Tannehill is indeed risky, it’s time for the Browns to take a calculated risk. Trent Richardson is the safe pick at No. 4, but even though he’ll likely blossom into a top flite talent, his impact in Cleveland could be minimized by the lack of a passing threat.
Gary Danielson, the long-time CBS college football analyst, has watched a lot of Tannehill, both live and on tape. While Danielson doesn’t think he can be Luck or Griffin immediately, he’s confident Tannehill can do his best Andy Dalton impression. And for Cleveland, that will be a significant upgrade over Colt McCoy.
From Tony Grossi, who spoke to Danielson:
“Now, I don’t classify him as a pretty thrower. Usually a guy taken in the first or second round, you have no doubts when he releases the ball. Tannehill is still in training to be a quarterback. If the Browns were drafting, say, 11th, and he was there, everybody would be happy (to take him). But if you like the guy, you take him (at No. 4). You don’t try to jockey around and take him.”
You may detect that Danielson is not the biggest fan of Colt McCoy. He doesn’t think they win big with McCoy at the throttle.
“The Browns are in a terrible, terrible position,” Danielson said. “You passed on (receiver) Julio Jones last year. You’ve got to have a No. 1 receiver. Just have to. And No. 2, you didn’t get RG3 (Robert Griffin III). If by some chance Tannehill turns out to be a franchise quarterback and you didn’t take him, you’re all fired.”
The puddle of tears is growing at the Factory of Sadness, and if Tannehill does become Dalton 2.0 while Richardson is busy facing eight-man fronts, the production of sad faces will double quickly.
And now you want to know the rest of the story…
- Mark Sanchez and Santonio Holmes are spending the week working out together in Orlando. No word on a possible trip to Disney World. [Newark Star-Ledger]
- The Bountygate punishments are easy to justify, and fully deserved. But that doesn’t mean the NFL’s disciplinary system isn’t odd, and sometimes downright confusing. [Gregg Doyel]
- Brian Urlacher seems to be enjoying the Bears’ offseason. [Chicago Tribune]
- Please come with us and peer into the NFL crystal ball, and gaze upon a foreign future land where huddling could become practically extinct. [Smart Football]
- We get it, Luck and Griffin are close, and far closer than they were a few months ago. But can we please stop pretending the Colts aren’t taking Luck? [PFT]
- David DeCastro doesn’t make sense for the Bills. [Buffalo Rumblings]
- Jake Ballard tore his ACL on the field during the Super Bowl, but he likely damaged cartilage when he tested the injury on the sideline shortly after. [NorthJersey.com]
- The details of Brandon Jacobs’ one-year contract with the 49ers have surfaced, and as expected the deal is structured to create minimal risk. [Niners Nation]
- Trading down may not be an option for the Cowboys. [Blogging the Boys]
- Steve Smith wore the attire of a rich man yesterday when he rocked a Gizmo shirt at the press conference to announce his contract extension. [Sportress of Blogitude]
- Would you like to shamelessly look at WAGs? Alright, let’s Bleacher Report the hell out of NFL draft girlfriends. Betcha can’t click just once. [The Backyard]