Consider Ryan Tannehill’s stock impossible to gauge for the 2012 NFL Draft. The frenzy surrounding Tannehill right now is more than anyone could have predicted early on this offseason. Before Robert Griffin III officially scaled draft boards around the league at option 1-A, Tannehill was hardly talked about. He was one of the best options as the third overall quarterback to be taken, but that now seems like a long time ago given the change in conversational tone these last few weeks.
Now? Todd McShay is calling him a certain top ten talent. Note: he doesn’t say pick but talent. He said of his change in grade, “I had to take a step back and realize he belongs in the top 10, and has a chance to be an elite NFL quarterback.” In short, McShay is caught up in the climbing stock as well. For good reason? That’s impossible to tell at this point.
Rick Spielman, general manager of the Minnesota Vikings, recently came out and said his team was looking to trade out of the third spot. Why wouldn’t they? After seeing the draft haul that the No. 2 position garnered for the St. Louis Rams, it’s easy to see why they’d want in on the action. Tannehill won’t create that type of buzz, but it’s possible someone will cash in several assets to take Tannehill at No. 3 — at the strategic spot ahead of the Cleveland Browns.
So Tannehill is climbing the charts like a shallow pop song, but is that set in stone? Will a team like the Chiefs have to trade everything to have a chance at him? Will they even want him? These are questions that cannot be answered until draft day. But what is clear that is it’s not a given that Tannehill will be gone by the time they choose at No. 11 — or even in the second round for that matter.
Everyone remembers the quarterback frenzy of last year when teams traded up for Blaine Gabbert, took Jake Locker in the top ten and grabbed Christian Ponder at No. 12. These came after Cam Newton, of course. Four quarterbacks in the top 12 supposedly sent out a signal that teams would do anything and everything to gain even the possibility of that franchise quarterback.
How quickly Ryan Mallett has been forgotten, then, and his precipitous fall to the New England Patriots in the third round. The Cincinnati Bengals stuck to their guns to take A.J. Green in the first round and hoped Andy Dalton would be there waiting in the second. Not everyone has to clamor for their quarterback of the future.
Going back even further, will any draftnik ever forget the decline of Jimmy Clausen on draft night? Mel Kiper, Jr. kept insisting to anyone who would listen that Clausen was one of the best available players in the entire draft. The end result was being selected 48th in the second round by the Carolina Panthers, almost an entire round after Tim Tebow. The alleged ups-and-downs of a player’s stock, in other words, cannot be trusted until the draft cards are turned in.
It is possible that Tannehill will become the next great NFL quarterback. It’s possible that a team will have to trade their first round choice this year, their first next year and another couple of choices to get him at No. 3 overall. It is also possible that Tannehill becomes this year’s Clausen or Mallett and suddenly finds himself the recipient of the pity of everyone watching the draft. Anyone who insists they know where Tannehill will fall was too quick to erase the memories of the last time we did this.
For the latest news and notes about the Chiefs and the NFL Draft, head over to Arrowhead Pride.