Which teams are looking for an immediate starter right out of the draft? Obviously the Indianapolis Colts, who get the number one pick with Andrew Luck, and the Washington Redskins, who’ll go for Robert Griffin III. Both picks are locks unless something unworldly happens on April 26.
There’s one more quarterback projected to go in the first round, some predicting he’ll even get a spot in the top 10, while most realistically, he’ll be a mid to late first round pick. Who? Ryan Tannehill out of Texas A&M. Most experts think he has quite an intriguing upside, but he isn’t a guy to start right away. I guess it all depends on the team that takes him.
Tannehill was a backup during his first two seasons with the Aggies, getting the starter job in 2010. He was actually a receiver and a punter during his high school days, alternating with the quarterback duties. He even got to punt a couple of times against Nebraska in 2010. He played as a receiver midway through the 2010 season. In 2011 he threw for 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, but the overall notion is that the Texas Tech fan isn’t ready for a plunge into the deep waters, but he’s worth a high pick.
So who might gamble on Tannehill? The Cleveland Browns have Colt McCoy as their projected starting quarterback at the moment and a whole lot of bigger problems, like no running game and big holes in their offensive line. But… They have two picks in the first round. They’ll probably go for an OL or running back (Trent Richardson?) with the fourth pick, but if Tannehill is still available at 22?
The Miami Dolphins have the 8th pick, and while they have other needs that can be immediately fixed, Matt Moore and David Garrard seem like short term solutions as well behind Center. Still, 8th might be a bit high for Tannehill.
The Denver Broncos have the 25th pick, and as much as they believe in Peyton Manning, even his father thinks it’s a year-to-year gig instead of actually dreaming of Peyton taking over and dominating for a very long time. That would be ideal for Tannehill, to develop behind Manning. Does that actually happen? The Broncos are rather solid (although far from perfect) in most positions, so a backup quarter might be a good option late in the first round.
And then there are the second day guys. Brandon Weeden, who’ll be 29 when the next NFL Season begins, but the former Oklahoma State Cowboys QB has an advantage over the others – You know his upside. He’s not likely to develop much into his 30’s. It might sound a bit far fetched, but he might be the most game ready quarterback in the draft.
Nick Foles from Arizona and Kirk Cousins out of Michigan State will probably be the next guys off the board in the position, with Weeden projected to go ahead before them. Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler might be another QB to go in the second round, but I don’t think he’s ready or ever going to be an NFL quarterback material.