Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tannehill risky but right pick for Miami

The questions are falling like summer rain in Florida.

The Miami Dolphins are copping some heavy criticism for taking Ryan Tannehill at No.8 in the NFL draft this week. Some experts believe the Texas A&M wideout-cum-signal-caller is inexperienced, and somewhat inaccurate. The Palm Beach Post called the pick "a tremendous risk". No riskier than bright orange jerseys, really.

Most concede the young Texan has potential, especially because of his size (he's 6'4), fleet-footedness, and arm strength, which, if you watch his highlight reel or pro day tape, shows the player's ability to throw short, long, on the move, and both inside and outside the pocket. Already that's five throws more than Tim Tebow can make.

Tannehill's so-called rawness is the sticking point for many though. Most draft war rooms would have asterisked his inability to finish games at the college level, where on more than one occasion his inexperience saw him force passes, or simply make the wrong read. Scan a few news sites and you'll see the word "reach" repeated throughout Miami draft evaluations. SI.com's Tony Pauline, for one, believes there's real downside to the kid.

The questions are fair, but pessimistic. Look, there wasn't a consensus that Elle Macpherson would make it as a swimsuit model, but how'd that work out for you? Right now the Dolphins need to be excited about the future, after a mediocre free agency period, and, well, 16 years of patchy quarterback play. Tannehill looks and sounds like everything the Fins want from the position, and with new offensive co-ordinator Mike Sherman calling the shots, Tannehill's former college coach, the education continues. How many quarterbacks head into such a comfortable professional situation? How often does anybody doing anything head into such a welcoming scenario?

Furthermore, Tannehill, and his glamorous wife, will be fan favorites in a city that loves some glitz. If he can turn the packaging into an effective and entertaining product, the sky's the limit.

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