Two of the deepest draft-day slides in recent memory came from a pair of quarterbacks, Brady Quinn in 2007 and Aaron Rodgers in 2005, who fell all the way out of the Top 20. At least one NFL executive thinks a third quarterback could join that group on Thursday night.
Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill will be the third quarterback off the board, after Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, but he could fall much further than most people expect, according to an executive who talked to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
“The one that’s gonna shake things up is Tannehill,” the high-ranking AFC personnel chief said. “I don’t think a lot of teams think of him as a first-round pick. I can see a situation where he doesn’t go at all in the top 20. That’s really going to change things. You got a guy who started for a year and a half. He hasn’t really been, from a team perspective, a winning quarterback. He’s got good numbers, there’s a lot of things there (to like). But they lost a lot of games in the fourth quarter. Why is he not pulling things out? Why are they losing games?”
If “a lot of teams” view Tannehill as less than a first-round pick, that could be a problem for him. However, it only takes one team to pull the trigger on Tannehill high in the first round. Many observers think the Dolphins — whose offensive coordinator, Mike Sherman, was Tannehill’s college coach — will be that team that takes Tannehill at No. 8. So Miami could be the team that stops Tannehill from falling too far.
The flip side of that is if the Dolphins pass on Tannehill, it could scare other teams away. That’s a scenario being floated by another NFL decision maker.
“If Miami doesn’t grab him, and they got Mike Sherman there, the teams behind them are going to start questioning, what the hell are we doing taking him?” he said. “If his own coach won’t take him, why are we taking him?”
Tannehill will hope that’s a question no one needs to ask on Thursday night.