Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland talked up Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill today, but he also sounded a note of caution about just how aggressive Miami might be to acquire him.
“He’s a great kid. He’s smart, tough, has a good family background,” Ireland said of Tannehill.
But Ireland also made clear that the Dolphins are going to stick to their draft board and take the player they think is the best, and they’re not going to feel any sense of desperation about either trading up for Tannehill or taking him with the eighth overall pick.
“There are times you should go after a first-round quarterback, but you shouldn’t be pressured into it,” Ireland said.
There’s been talk that Tannehill has climbed up draft boards since the season ended, but Ireland said the Dolphins’ draft board more or less has the same players in the same places now as they did at the end of the college football season.
“Very few change drastically,” Ireland said.
This year’s draft clearly has two elite quarterback prospects in Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, followed by four players who have separated themselves from the pack in USC left tackle Matt Kalil, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne and Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon. Tannehill is the wild card near the top of the draft.
That’s seven players, which might indicate that the Dolphins are in a position where they’re likely to miss out on all the elite prospects with the eighth overall pick. But Ireland is expressing confidence.
“There are certainly some glaring things that are hitting me this year,” Ireland said. “I have a pretty good idea of what I want at No. 8.”