BTSC Draft Forum: Evaluating Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill

BTSC's Draft Forum has discussed the avenues the Steelers may take with the running back position as well as comparing the value of an offensive lineman with a nose tackle in the 2012 NFL Draft and free agency.

As the NFL Scouting Combine draws near, our esteemed panel has been discussing individual prospects and the level of interest teams may have in them.

We start off with Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill. The Steelers are highly unlikely to draft a quarterback in the first round (read: not happening), but Tannehill is being talked about as a potential mid-to-late first round prospect, and could be the target of a team trading up or down with Pittsburgh. We turn to our forum to answer some questions.

Background: We have highlighted the possible benefits of the Steelers trading down from the 24th overall pick. We know that teams have traded up or back into the first round to select a quarterback 14 times in the past 10 drafts, and five of those 14 picks came within three slots of where the Steelers are drafting this year. Obviously, each draft is unique; but it's tough to dismiss those occurrences as anomalies.

Question: Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill has been largely overshadowed by the hype of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. I see him as a talented project, but one who will likely draw a first-round pick nonetheless. What is your opinion on Tannehill as a passer, and do you feel he'd be available at 24? If he's there, what do you think the odds are of the Steelers trading down with someone who wants him?

Quarterbacks generally go higher than expected. Tannehill will probably benefit from a desperate team buying into the inflation of his position. Can you tell I don't love him as a prospect? His arm strength and accuracy are subpar, he lacks extensive experience at QB, and his decision making is not superb either. That being said, he is an athletic kid who has a pass first mentality. That is all the rage in the NFL right now and I think a team will gamble on him before the 24th pick. If he is still alive at 24 and someone wants to trade with us, I think we should take it unless someone high on our board fell a lot deeper than they should have.

- John Stephens

While many outlets disagree in terms of his arm strength and accuracy, Tannehill's main issue at this point is the broken foot that kept him out of the Senior Bowl and will keep him from working out at the combine this coming week.

The hype exists, whether or not it is actually founded on anything yet (his purportedly rising stock could largely be due to the typical politicking for certain players done through the media this time of year). The reality though is that teams are likely to only see Tannehill throw once - at Texas A&M's Pro Day on March 7 - and they would really have to love him to take him higher than 24.

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