Jim Irsay touts Ryan Tannehill
Jim Irsay has his pick of quarterbacks Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III with his Indianapolis Colts owning the NFL draft's No. 1 overall selection. He's also, however, using his Twitter account to try to play matchmaker for quarterback prospect Ryan Tannehill.
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The Colts owner called Tannehill the "hidden gem" of the draft and suggested that if a team wants to select him, it will have to talk trade with the Minnesota Vikings, who own the No. 3 pick.
"Tannehill is a hidden gem in this draft, a quiet secret who was always sneaking up to #3..you want him,you better talk to Zigi The Biggie!," Irsay wrote Wednesday afternoon.
Irsay regularly voices his opinions on Twitter, even using the social media platform to announce Indianapolis' personnel moves during the season. "Zigi The Biggie" is a reference to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf.
The Cleveland Browns at No. 4 and the Miami Dolphins at No. 8 are two teams that could draft Tannehill if they get the chance. The Browns were involved in trade talks with the St. Louis Rams for the No. 2 pick before being outbid by the Washington Redskins. Miami had failed courtships of quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn and Alex Smith this offseason as it tries to find a franchise quarterback.
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Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, who was fired as Texas A&M's coach in December after four seasons, coached Tannehill with the Aggies.
The Vikings presumably will not draft a quarterback with the third pick after taking Christian Ponder in the first round of last year's draft. But if the Dolphins or another team covet Tannehill and fear the Browns might take him at No. 4, they could be potential trade partners with Minnesota for its pick.
Tannehill converted from receiver to quarterback, which he played in high school, halfway through the 2010 season and caught the attention of NFL scouts despite starting just 19 games behind center for the Aggies.
At his pro day last month, Tannehill worked out for representatives of 22 NFL teams, including Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin and Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress. It was their first offseason look at Tannehill after he missed the combine while recovering from foot surgery.
SportsNation: Tannehill a top pick?
Jim Irsay says that teams would do well to draft Ryan Tannehill as high as the No. 3 pick. Is Tannehill that good?
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At his pro day last month, Tannehill showed off his mobility, accuracy and arm strength. While he wasn't throwing against a defense, he had only 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.
Tannehill was moved to receiver as a freshman after losing the quarterback competition. He had 1,453 yards receiving and nine touchdowns in his first two seasons combined at A&M and had 143 yards receiving as a junior before returning to quarterback.
Tannehill went 12-7 in 1½ seasons at the position for the Aggies. He threw for 1,638 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2010 and had 3,744 yards passing with 29 touchdowns last season.
Information from ESPN.com AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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