QB RYAN TANNEHILL – TEXAS A&M – 6-4, 222
Starting QB for 1 1/2 years. Moved there from WR, amazingly enough. Texas A&M instantly got better with him as QB in 2010, going 5-1 down the stretch. The team was just 7-6 in 2011, but that was more due to the 59th ranked defense than the 7th ranked offense. Tannehill did play QB in high school and was recruited as a QB. His move to WR was done to help the team out. Shows selflessness that he was willing to do that. Shows talent and athleticism that he became such a solid WR.
Tannehill has good size. He has a good arm, but not a cannon. He’s able to get the ball out to the sidelines effectively. Tannehill generally makes good decisions, but will force the ball into coverage at times. Good athlete. Can run for yardage or just to buy time. Does a good job of keeping his eyes downfield. Inconsistent with his deep balls. Must improve his timing and accuracy with them. Most QBs are enhanced by the spread offense. The short, quick throws to wide open receivers make them look better than they are. Texas A&M doesn’t run a true spread (Mike Sherman is a former NFL guy), but it is close enough. Tannehill to me looks much better on standard plays than when in the shotgun and throwing WR screens. His arm motion is weird on the short stuff.
Tannehill doesn’t have ideal quickness with his release, but he’s no Byron Leftwich. Ryan is mechanically sound. I think he’s much better when playing under Center. Ryan drops back smoothly. He really drives backward from Center to get proper depth and does a good job of reading the defense as he drops. That movement gets his body going and seems to bring out the best in him. He’s athletic enough to throw from a variety of platforms, but I still think he’s at his best when coming back from Center or throwing on the move. He will sit in the pocket and take a hit. I love the fact that he keeps his eyes downfield. Tannehill will check down and dump the ball to backs, but his primary goal is to get the ball up the field. Some young QBs are quick to bail on routes and get the ball to RBs too quickly.
Stats are crazy due to 2 1/2 years as WR:
Rushing 369 career yards, 5 TDS
Passing 5450 yards, 42 TDs, 21 INTs, 61.5% completions
W/L Record 12-7 (as starter)
Normally I’m not a fan of QBs who played less than 2 full seasons, but Tannehill doesn’t have a standard situation. He was on the field before that as a WR. Tannehill has a ton of game experience. He has seen the passing game from the perspective of the QB and WR. In some ways, that could actually give him an advantage. He’s an athletic QB with good size and physical skills. Doesn’t hurt that he played for a former NFL coach. 19 starts is less than ideal, but it might be enough in his case. I think he’s a lock to go in the Top 10, although I’m not sure he’s quite worth a pick that high.