Thursday, March 29, 2012
Ryan Tannehill impresses at his pro day
By Jamison Hensley
Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill had an outstanding performance at his pro day, according to NFL.com's Gil Brandt.
This likely solidified his status as a top-10 pick in the NFL draft. There was "a large contingent" from the Cleveland Browns, which included offensive coordinator Brad Childress. Dolphins coach Joe Philbin and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll also attended the workout.
Tannehill reportedly has a pre-draft visit set up with the Browns, who have the fourth overall pick in the draft.
At his pro day, Tannehill showed off his mobility, accuracy and arm strength. While he wasn't throwing against a defense, he only had three incompletions (he missed one long pass and had two drops) on 68 passes thrown. He also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds. As ESPN's Todd McShay pointed out, Andrew Luck ran it in 4.67 seconds, although Luck is an inch taller and 13 pounds heavier.
McShay said on ESPN's "SportsCenter" that Tannehill is a legitimate top-10 pick and believes he is a better fit for the Browns than the Dolphins, who select eighth.
"I would say the Browns, because they are a better team," McShay said when asked which team was a better fit for Tannehill. "They have better parts around the quarterback position. Miami, I'm not sure what the plan is when I look at the Miami organization. While they have Matt Moore and they brought in [David] Garrard, I just don't know if you want to bring in a young quarterback with everything else that’s going on in Miami."
Fellow ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. disagreed.
"I can see Cleveland taking [Tannehill], but I disagree with them being the best fit," Kiper said. "I think it's Miami. When you have [offensive coordinator] Mike Sherman there, you have familiarity, and there's some personnel. I think you're [McShay] underrating that personnel base a little bit. Granted they have to do some work in the draft, no question about that."
Whether or not the Browns are the best fit, Tannehill shouldn't be in the conversation for them with the No. 4 pick. That choice should be between Alabama running back Trent Richardson and Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.
Even though the Browns need to upgrade at quarterback over Colt McCoy, it's a stretch to validate taking Tannehill that high. There are six elite prospects in this draft (Luck, Robert Griffin III, Matt Kalil, Richardson, Blackmon and Morris Claiborne), and Tannehill is not among them. His 19 starts in college make him too much of a risk.
If the Browns decide to trade back, then they should consider Tannehill.