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Friday, March 30, 2012
McShay, Kiper Jr. debate Tannehill's value

By Jamison Hensley


ESPN draft analysts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. both agree that Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill will get drafted in the top 10.

Whether he deserves to be taken that high in the draft is another matter.

"To me, he's being overdrafted," Kiper Jr. said. "We saw it last year with Christian Ponder. He should've been a second-round pick. Overdrafting is taking place at quarterback, and it's going to happen again with Ryan Tannehill."

McShay disagrees with Kiper Jr.'s assessment of Tannehill.

"He's not RG3 [Robert Griffin III] or Andrew Luck, I'll give you that," McShay said. "But he's a notch below, and he's certainly better than all of those other quarterbacks. He belongs in the top 10."

Kiper Jr. doesn't rule out the Browns (No. 4) or the Dolphins taking Tannehill in the top 10, and he agrees that Tannehill has talent.

"It's obvious that he's got ability," Kiper said. "You can watch him throw the ball on the move. He's a cerebral, smart kid. But how he's handled in the NFL will go a long way in determining what kind of career he has."

I don't think the Browns will take Tannehill at No. 4. They tipped their hand Thursday, when coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert went to Trent Richardson's pro day and not the one for Tannehill. Offensive coordinator Brad Childress attended Tannehill's pro day. This says to me that the Browns are leaning toward Richardson over Tannehill.

In McShay's breakdown of Tannehill's pro day, McShay brought up a scenario for the Browns that I hadn't previously heard. He speculated that the Browns could pass on Tannehill with the No. 4 pick and then use the No. 22 pick (which they received from Atlanta in the Julio Jones trade last season) to make a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars to move to No. 7. That would allow the Browns to jump ahead of the Dolphins and get Tannehill there.

According to McShay, a move like that would probably mean Cleveland offering up something in the ballpark of the No. 22 pick this year paired with next year's first-rounder, or No. 22 and a combination of second-rounders from this year and next. I don't see the Browns making such a move, but you can't discount anything in the NFL when it comes to quarterbacks and the draft.