Draft board overall prospect rank: #49
Draft board overall quarterback rank: #4
Overall rating: 76 (late 2nd rounder)
40 time: 4.65
· Freak athlete
· Former wide receiver (only player in college football history with 4000 passing yards and 1500 receiving yards)
· Caught 55 balls for 844 yards and 5 touchdowns as a freshman in 2008 (led the team in receiving, no slouch as a receiver)
· Experience as a wide receiver does help him with some of the mental aspects of the quarterback position
· Can make every throw as a quarterback
· Turned around the team in 2010, 3-3 when he took over as quarterback, finished 9-4
· Mobile, but looks to throw first
· Uses his legs to buy time
· Can avoid sacks and scramble for big gains on the ground
· Pro style experience under Mike Sherman
· Only scratching the surface on his potential
· Inexperienced, 20 career starts
· Has only been coached as a quarterback for a two years
· Lack of elite statistical production (2010: 65.0%/7.0 YPA/13:6, 2011: 61.6%/7.1 YPA/29:15)
· Disappointed as a senior
· 7-6 record as a senior
· Blew a lot of big needs as a senior
· No defining win
· Not NFL ready
· Small hands
NFL Comparison: More athletic Mark Sanchez
Mark Sanchez doesn’t have Tannehill’s history as a wide receiver, but very few do and in almost every other way, they are very similar prospects. Sanchez was one of the most inexperienced quarterbacks to ever get drafted in the first round when he went 5th overall in 2009 despite 16 collegiate starts. Tannehill has 20, but has similar inexperience problems.
Sanchez was a late riser in the draft process into the top 10 even though he never had elite production (65.8%/8.8 YPA/34:10 as a senior) and even though he was inexperienced because of his tools. Tannehill was slightly less productive and slightly more experienced, but they are similar prospects enjoying similar rises as a prospect.
Tannehill was once a borderline first rounder, but now looks like a top-12 pick lock, going as high as 4th to Cleveland. Like Sanchez, Tannehill will struggle as a rookie (53.8%/6.7/12:20) and will have an up and down career. Unlike Sanchez, Tannehill probably won’t be fortunate enough to land on a team with as much talent around him as the Jets and thus he will be exposed as a below average quarterback earlier than his 3rd year (as Sanchez started to get exposed last season with less talent around him).
Sanchez probably needed some time to develop as a quarterback, rather than being thrown out there week 1. Tannehill needs that too and where he lands will determine whether or not he gets that. He’s certainly got all the tools. He’s a freak athlete who could have ended up getting drafted as a wide receiver had he continued on that path. In fact, he was his team’s leader in receiving in 2008 as a freshman, over Jeff Fuller, who could be drafted this season.
As a quarterback, he can make all the throws, but he’s inexperienced and inconsistent. He only made 20 starts and more importantly, he only had 2 years of collegiate coaching at quarterback. He certainly flashes on tape, but he had an inconsistent senior season, blew a lot of leads, and ended up with a 7-6 record. However, he’s only scratching his potential as a passer and can be a solid starter in time, but I don’t think he’s worth a top 10 pick or a guy who can start right away.