By Eli Nachmany
After the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers both whiffed on highly-touted, second-tier quarterback prospects in Blaine Gabbert and Jimmy Clausen, respectively, analysts are quick to tab Ryan Tannehill as the next signal caller in line to be a bust.
These comparisons are just not warranted.
Watching some of the film on this quarterback, he certainly has his flaws. Tannehill has trouble making reads and going through progressions, but he is in no way comparable to Gabbert or even Clausen.
Tannehill is not a very experienced signal caller, but he more than makes up for it with confidence and pocket presence. Jimmy Clausen is a poor leader and Blaine Gabbert has no pocket presence.
A former wide receiver, this Texas A&M prospect has taken his fair share of hits and he’s a better quarterback because of it. Instead of trying to run away from potential danger, Tannehill stands in the pocket until the last possible second, delivering a perfect ball while getting his clock cleaned.
There’s something to be said for the former Aggie standout’s courageousness and after watching a lot of game film, a lot of this player’s incompletions and even interceptions were the result of sub-par receiver play.
In fact, to give a little draft analysis on another player, I wouldn’t touch Tannehill’s No. 1 target, Jeff Fuller. When I popped in the tape on the Arkansas game, I saw a receiver uninterested in going the extra mile to make plays for his quarterback.
On one of Tannehill’s interceptions, Fuller chose not to go up for a jump ball, instead allowing his defender to make an easy play on the ball.
When this Texas A&M field general reaches the NFL, he’ll have a cast of two or three true receiving talents at his command.
I have no real concern with Tannehill’s accuracy. He ran a bootleg-based system in college, completing a lot of throws to the sidelines. Players like Donovan McNabb had success with systems like that in the NFL for many years.
It’s not Tannehill’s fault when his receivers don’t make an effort to catch the football or, worse yet, just drop the pass.
This confident leader has all the tools necessary to succeed in the NFL. Comparisons to Blaine Gabbert or Jimmy Clausen are just inaccurate.