Ryan Tannehill really burst on to the scene last season when he replaced Jerrod Johnson as Texas A&M’s quarterback. Tannehill had been playing wide receiver, and doing it quite well, before being moved in for the ineffective Johnson. I’ve included a video cut up of Tannehill’s Cotton Bowl performance against LSU (part of our new Youtube channel, check it out!) so you can follow along with what I’m talking about.
Size: At 6’4″ Tannehill has the appropriate height to play in the NFL, he should have no problems seeing over an NFL sized offensive line. His listed weight of 219 pounds shows that he needs to put between 10-20 pounds of mass on, to be able to take the every down punishment a quarterback in the NFL takes. Likely, Tannehill was in “receiver shape” last season, and shed some weight to increase speed and quickness while playing the wide receiver position. It will be interesting to note whether or not he comes into this season with additional weight.
Arm Strength: Tannehill posseses the arm strength to make all the throws at the next level, including the “deep out.” While he doesn’t have quite the cannon of a Ryan Mallett or JaMarcus Russell, his arm should be considered sufficient for the professional level, and is quite capable of delivering the ball with the requisite velocity to any spot on the field.
Accuracy: The reason I included the cut up of the LSU game with this scouting report, is that it is one of the best instances of a game last year in which the quarterback was throwing his receivers open, despite excellent defensive coverage. Though there were some timing issues in that LSU game, his accuracy is impeccable for a guy who has played the position half a season at the NCAA level.
Mechanical: Tannehill has a compact throwing motion, and quick release. He spins the ball cleanly, and only needs light correction on his throwing mechanics. Outside the pocket, his mechanics don’t break down. Keeps his eye level up and down field when rolling out, and doesn’t throw flat footed.
Mobility: Possesses strong athletic ability for the position. Started at wide receiver for the Aggies, before taking over for Jerrod Johnson at quarterback. Has good straight line speed. Will pick up the first down with his legs if needed. He isn’t Michael Vick, but definitely on par with Ben Roethlisberger or Josh Freeman.
Pre/Post Snap Reads: He didn’t call a lot of audibles last season. I’m not sure if he has the freedom to do it, or just didn’t feel comfortable enough in that phase of the game yet. Post snap he keeps his eye level up and down field, will occasionally lock on to a receiver, but knows when to check down.
Intangibles: Probably Tannehill’s strongest area. I’ve haven’t seen a kid jump out at me with the kind of “it” factor that Tannehill has since Phillip Rivers (who shares the distinction with Peyton Manning of having the highest grade I’ve ever given a prospect). Tannehill is a winner, multi-dimensional athlete, intelligent, and by all accounts a strong leader in the huddle.
Character: I couldn’t find anyone with anything negative to say about Tannehill. He is by all accounts an intelligent (three time all conference academic award winner), hard working, and inspiring leader. It’s a rarity this day in age to get the kind of positive feedback about, I keep getting about Tannehill everywhere I go.
It will be interesting to see how Tannehill does with a full season to work with, and with teams with having more film on him. Based on his body of work so far, I would have absolutely no problem spending a second round pick on him, and I could see him working his way to the top of the quarterback rankings by season’s end.