Why the Eagles Should Target: Ryan Tannehill

[Note by JasonB, 02/23/12 9:45 AM EST ] Good stuff here from Mc5

I will begin saying I support Michael Vick. I believe that Michael Vick can take us to a Super Bowl. I know we are in win-now mode, and Vick just received a hefty contract prior to last season,but drafting the QB of the future should not be pushed off as far as you think, and I'll tell you why (and why that man should be Ryan Tannehill).

Let me add the disclaimer that this shouldn't be done at the expense of filling in major holes, but it certainly deserves to be high on the list of things we need to address.

The problems with Vick are obvious, even to his supporters. He'll be 32 when the season starts and he has durability concerns. Playing wise, he is susceptible to turnovers (18 in 2011), has trouble reading the blitz, and isn't extremely accurate, hovering around 60% consistently. Some would say its hard to see Vick winning a Super Bowl, and the fact that he hasn't won a playoff game since 2004 is also alarming. But I tend to subscribe to the belief that if Vick is on a roll headed into the playoffs that he can get it done.

The issue lies in the fact that he is on the wrong side of 30, and has had a substantial injury history (concussions and ribs being particularly alarming). Additionally I don't see Mike Kafka realistically being able to step into a big game if Vick is hurt and play like a starting QB.

When looking at the Pros/Cons of investing heavily into another QB I see the Pros greatly outweighing the Cons. While Vick has a large contract remaining, it was reasonable to cut ties after either of the next two seasons, and as reported shortly after it was signed, if he plays enough it turns into a 5-year deal. This would also potentially give Andy Reid a bargaining chip if this season falls short of the Super Bowl (given another 2011 would probably spell the end anyways), a good season, a playoff win or two, Andy would need something to show that he's ready to move onto the next generation at QB like he has in recent seasons. This may not be a positive reason for those of us who want Andy gone, but it certainly points out why it isn't out of the question.

Taking a look at some of the QBs Reid has brought it over the years, such as:

The common links in these guys outline what Andy Reid wants in his QB (and therefore would reasonably target) most obviously would be Scrambling Ability and Arm Strength. Each of the QBs have/had their own styles, but with the exceptions of Kolb and Kafka, they all had above average arm strength, and all of them were considered mobile QBs.

That being said I believe we should invest in:


Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill (think of a more accurate Jake Locker)

Here's an overview taken from CBS Sports

"Tannehill arrived in College Station as one of the top dual-threat quarterback prospects in the nation, but showed an exceptional team-first attitude by switching to receiver. When Jerrod Johnson struggled early in the 2010 season due to injury, however, Tannehill stepped in and led the team to six straight wins.

Tannehill was a productive receiver who led the team in receptions for his first two seasons. But he saw action at quarterback in 2009 and took over as the starter in 2010. That's when he started to really catch the eye of NFL scouts. He closed his career with 5,450 passing yards and 42 touchdowns.

He is still raw and needs to continue to improve at reading defenses and completing passes to keep the chains moving. But Tannehill possesses a tantalizing combination of size, intelligence, arm strength and mobile. With Southern Cal?s Matt Barkley and Oklahoma?s Landry Jones returning to school, Tannehill is a likely first-round pick."

Here's what Mike Mayock, my personal favorite draft "expert" and his take on Tannehill:

"He’s got everything you want," Mayock said in a pre-combine conference call on Wednesday. "He’s got size, he’s got arm strength, really good athlete. All you have to do is look at his tape as a wide receiver two years ago. He’s a big, fast kid with a really good arm."

Former Texas A&M Head Coach and current Miami Dolphins Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman (who also coached Brett Favre and drafted Aaron Rodgers) similarly praised Tannehill, saying he would fit in any system.

The knocks on him are mainly attributed to his inexperience at QB. He lost a QB battle with or 2011 Training Camp body Jerrod Johnson, and spent time at WR, twice leading the Aggies in receiving. That alone shows how athletic he is, and also his team-first mentality. He eventually unseated Johnson and took over duties. Like I said though, he needs to improve his decision-making, pre-snap reads, and learn when to get rid of the ball, especially after extending plays.

What he does have is an above average arm, very good accuracy, and excellent athleticism. Take a look at his 65-yard TD from the Oklahoma State game:

He has also been praised for his leadership skills, he's very intelligent (3x All-Academic Big 12) who is planning on pursuing a career in medicine post-football, and he has football bloodlines.

Why might he fall to us and why would he fit here?

He is considered by many as a fringe 1st Round/2nd Round prospect. Following last year's draft featuring QB reaches many think that Tannehill will be taken on round 1, but I'm not so sure.

First off, the top two QBs (Luck and Griffin) are being taken, probably 1 and 2, to fill positions immediately. With Tannehill, he's probably not ready to "win-now" and needs some further development, which is why other teams like Miami and Washington may not see him as worthwhile when they are in need of competing right away. He also suffered a foot injury in off-season training and won't compete in drills at the combine, both factors working with each other may cause him to drop further. The last knock on him is that he's slightly older (24 at the start of the season). So I would believe he's falling to the very early 2nd Round range, ala Andy Dalton.

Why he fits here is we have a coaching staff who can develop QBs, and he has the necessary basic skills that Reid tends to believe in. But the biggest upside is that he also brings his leadership, and if he was here he'd being in a different feel to the offense, one that works like most NFL offenses (accuracy, no-huddle) that Vick, McNabb, and others didn't thrive at. Tannehill is basically an option to usher us into the current generation of QBs, while keeping offering us the advantages of his mobility and scrambling ability.

Let me know what you think

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bleeding Green Nation

You must be a member of Bleeding Green Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bleeding Green Nation. You should read them.

Join Bleeding Green Nation

You must be a member of Bleeding Green Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bleeding Green Nation. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.