Originally posted on The Herd's Word  |  Last updated 4/13/12

Get used to hearing these statements over the next few weeks:

Ryan Tannehill started his college career as a wide receiver.

Ryan Tannehill has only started 19 college football games as a quarterback.

Ryan Tannehill’s upside is superior to every quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft not named Luck or RG3.

But also prepare yourself to hear this: “With the (enter numbers 5-10th) pick in the NFL Draft the (enter franchise desperate for a QB) select Ryan Tannehill, quarterback, Texas A&M.”

Regardless of where Tannehill ranks among the best players in the 2012 NFL Draft class, there is an immeasurable amount of importance placed upon the quarterback position in the NFL, and because of that, names like Gabbert, Ponder and Locker flew off the Draft Board much earlier than expected last year. That trend won’t end this year.

If you told Ryan Tannehill that NFL teams would be comparing him to Ed McCaffery at this point in 2010 he probably would have blushed. Fast forward two years and Tannehill is drawing comparisons to the elite passers in the NFL. His rise isn’t unprecedented but it’s not something a team drafting in the top-10 should be completely comfortable with either.

Joe Flacco entered his senior year at Delaware as a “player to watch” for the 2008 Draft. After leading his team to the 2007 D1-AA National Championship game, Flacco gained momentum toward the end of the season and solidified his status as the second best QB in his class behind USC’s Mark Sanchez. The difference between Flacco and Tannehill is experience.

Flacco realized he wasn’t going to be given an opportunity to compete for the starting spot at Pittsburgh because coach Dave Wannstedt was enamored with incumbent Tyler Palko. He transferred to Delaware and almost instantly became an NFL prospect due to his size, arm strength and ability to make quick reads. The number of defenses Flacco had broken down before reaching the NFL wasn’t an issue when Draft Day rolled around.

Back to Tannehill. His physical attributes are obvious. He has the ideal size GMs are looking for with athletic ability to spare. He can “make every throw” necessary, one of the most overrated statements Draft pundits consistently make this time of year. (Show me an NFL quarterback that can’t make every throw. Imagine an offensive coordinator calling a play, only to have the QB wave his arms up at the booth, screaming “No, no, no!!! I can’t make that throw. Remember?”) He played his college ball in a major conference but not necessarilly against the best defensive competition in the country. The best Big 12 defense in 2011 was arguably Oklahoma, who was nowhere near the top-25 nationally. Nebraska, who consistently paced the conference on the defensive side of the ball over the past five years, moved onto the Big Ten, leaving a physically noticable void within the Big 12. Tannehill’s biggest win last season came against RG3 and Baylor, when he threw 6 TDs against 1 INT. That performance alone probably gave a few GMs enough confidence to select him with their first pick this April but what followed should give them reason for concern.

Losses in four of his last five regular season college games should put doubt in the minds of any team in the mix for a QB in this year’s Draft. His basic lack of experience against non-Swiss cheese defenses, along with relatively poor performances against Oklahoma State, Texas and Oklahoma, should also give any team looking to make Tannehill their franchise QB reason to second guess him.

Generally only one -sometimes two- quarterbacks from a given Draft class prevail at the NFL level. Given the fact that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III have been labeled “can’t-miss prospects” why would any NFL general manager basically put their job on the line and draft Ryan Tannehill, a 19-game starting project from a Texas A&M squad that had everything in place to win at least ten games during his final season?

Your guess is as good as mine.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Report: Luke Walton will not consider coaching offers until offseason

Budweiser: Peyton Manning not paid for Super Bowl beer plug

Archie Manning: 'I think Peyton's done in Denver'

Donald Trump: I told Tom Brady not to endorse me for President

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Marshawn Lynch: Complicated and talented NFL anti-hero

Hue Jackson lets Manziel and ex know they aren’t alone

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

Tyronn Lue faces backlash for Cavs record since Blatt’s firing

Report: LeSean McCoy assaulted off duty Philly police officers

John Elway was right, the Broncos didn’t need a Plan B

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

Top defensive performances in Super Bowl history

FBI questions Jeremy Shockey about drug and gambling ring

Coldplay drummer thought Johnny Football was real name

Ranking every game from 2015 NFL Playoffs

PHOTO: Panthers LB shows gruesome arm injury after SB

Patriots, Panthers early Super Bowl 51 favorites

Von Miller trolls Cam Newton, Panthers

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker