I like Ryan Tannehill. I think the former Texas A&M quarterback has the physical tools and leadership intangibles to possibly develop into an NFL starter down the road.
But Cleveland is considering drafting Tannehill with the fourth pick in the draft?!!!
I find this hard to fathom. And, once all the veteran free agent QBs start signing deals this week, I think the Browns will come to their senses. There are 13 veterans with 30+ career starts available starting Tuesday at 3:01 p.m. CDT.
Seriously, once Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn, Alex Smith, Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, Jason Campbell and others sign deals, the Browns will probably be able to draft Tannehill with their #22 pick in the 1st round or maybe even in the 2nd round.
There are simply not that many teams this year that are as desperate as the Browns are to spend a 1st round pick on as unproven a commodity as Tannehill. That happened last year. Three teams used Top 12 picks on QBs who were at best 2nd round talents. Tennessee took Jake Locker with the 8th pick, Jacksonville grabbed Blaine Gabbert at 10, and Minnesota picked Christian Ponder at 12.
But those teams had a reason to be so frantic last year. Due to the lockout, there were no free agent signings prior to the draft. They didn't have a quarterback so they had to draft one in the first round.
So, now to the larger issue about Tannehill that can't be answered until he gets in the league. How good is he?
My biggest concern is that he didn't play well at all in big games last year. His accuracy was not good against his toughest opponents. Tannehill had Robert Griffin-like success against soft opponents last year:
However, when the going got tough, Griffin won a Heisman and Tannehill didn't win a game:
And this is the quarterback the Browns are thinking about taking with the 4th pick in the entire draft? One who didn't even become a starting QB at A&M until 17 months ago?
Again, this is not to say Ryan Tannehill won't eventually become a successful starting quarterback in the NFL. I think he has a legitimate chance once he learns the league.
However, a team that selects him in the top half of the 1st round, expecting him to step in and have success early in his career, is ignoring what was fairly obvious to those of us who watched Texas A&M's games last year.
And by the way, Colt McCoy, the player Cleveland drafted in the 3rd round in 2010, just happens to be a better quarterback.
Still, I wouldn't be surprised if the Browns defy logic on draft day. That's because desperate teams make desperate decisions in the NFL.
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