When it comes to the NFL Draft, most teams have certain rules they stand by when it comes to who they will select.
Most teams (mainly anyone except Oakland or Jacksonville) won’t select a kicker or punter until the later rounds of the draft. Some teams more heavily value a player’s character rating in their evaluations and others factor positional need more heavily into a decision than just taking the “best player available.”
Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland is hesitant to take a quarterback in the draft that has less than 30 starts at the collegiate level. However, that’s exactly what they did with Ryan Tannehill last April.
“I think the axiom that you go by in scouting is you like to see a quarterback with 30 starts under his belt before he’s ready to play, and we kind of violated that, our principle,” Ireland said on 940 WINZ in Miami on Monday, via Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post.
The Dolphins selected Tannehill with the eighth overall pick and he earned the starting job over Matt Moore and David Garrard. Tannehill started all 16 games for Miami and threw for 3,294 yards with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his rookie season. Ireland said Tannehill’s skill-set, his relationship with offensive coordinator Mike Sherman at Texas A&M and several other “positive external factors” led the Dolphins to go against their own principles to take him in the top 10.
Now that Tannehill has 30-plus starts under his belt from his time in college combined with his first year with the Dolphins, Ireland expects Tannehill to take a sizable step forward next season.
“He’s got (36) starts under his belt to this day, and that’s huge,” Ireland said. “I think we’re better for it, I think Ryan is better for it. So now we’re kind of going to hopefully see a big jump from that standpoint from his development.”