It’s hard to tell if the Kansas City Chiefs have a need at quarterback. For many fans, the thought of going through another season with Matt Cassel or Kyle Orton or another journeyman is the worst way to go. Others, however, would point to the injuries and drama of last season and say that the Chiefs will be just fine if they can address the offensive line and get everyone healthy again. You can count Charlie Campbell among those who don’t believe since he has Ryan Tannehill, the quarterback from Texas A&M, as the Chiefs first round pick in his latest mock over at Walter Football.
Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel will turn 30 just after the 2012 NFL Draft and he is not a difference maker. Kansas City could groom the new quarterback for a year or two behind Cassel.
With Matt Barkley and Landry Jones returning to school, I agree with Walt that Ryan Tannehill will move up and get drafted well ahead of where he should go because of the demand at the position. Tannehill could be this year’s Blaine Gabbert/Christian Ponder.
The 6-foot-4, 222-pound Tannehill is a good athlete who can make big plays with his feet and has a strong arm. This season, he completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,744 yards with 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The senior also rushed for 355 yards with four touchdowns. Tannehill was inconsistent and is still developing at the position. He played well versus Baylor and Missouri, but struggled against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas.
Tannehill has only played one full season at quarterback (20 total starts at QB), so he will need time to develop at the pro level. As a wide out in 2008, Tannehill caught 55 passes for 844 yards and five touchdowns. He switched to quarterback in 2010 and played well in the last half of the season as the Aggies’ starter. Tannehill completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,638 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions.