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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Chiefs Could Groom Ryan Tannehill Behind Matt Cassel

The latest mock draft by Charlie Campbell looking forward to the 2012 NFL Draft and what the Kansas City Chiefs will do features an interesting look forward into the future rather than addressing some of the current needs on the roster.

With the selection of Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the first round, Campbell says the Chiefs can find their heir apparent to Matt Cassel — creating competition in the short term and vision for the long-term. Campbell writes:

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel will turn 30 just after the 2012 NFL Draft. They could groom Tannehill for a year or two behind Cassel.

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.

While it’s nice to think about the Chiefs having a better back-up quarterback situation than last season (when they started Tyler Palko four times), it’s difficult to imagine the Chiefs ignoring offensive tackle, defensive tackle, cornerback or linebacker for the sake of security at quarterback.

Scott Pioli seemed quite fine discussing bringing in a veteran like Kyle Orton or Jason Campbell to compete, so Tannehill is likely a stretch in need and value for the Chiefs.