FanPost

Why we SHOULDN'T take Tannehill at number 8


Recently, the hype for Ryan Tannehill has been growing and growing. We need a new QB, most say, and he can be the Dolphin's savior. From a second round pick, he has skyrocketed up most draft boards up to teams like Miami and Cleveland. I, however, am completely against picking Tannehill with the eighth pick in the draft. Not only do we need several other positions to be filled (Offensive Lineman, Pass Rusher, TE, WR, and safety come to mind), but we also have a reasonable group of QBs to hold us down for a season and for all you know get us into the playoffs. The 49ers managed to get one of the top seeds with Alex Smith, and Matt Moore is extremely similar to him, in that he isn't a game changer, but a solid QB. He wont turn the ball over too much, but wont make any amazing plays. I'm not saying he is the future, but I'm saying we can succeed without a top QB this year. Garrard, if you remember, was a pro-bowler as well, at one point, and who knows how good or bad he could end up.

I'm sure everyone has heard those arguments before, but that isn't my main reasoning. I do think we should get a good QB if we can, but is Tannehill going to be better than Ingram, Coples, or Reiff? History would say no.

The biggest reason for me to be against picking the third best QB in the draft is because it seems like something like this happens before every draft, and it always ends up badly. Jake Locker was picked 8th last year, but was projected to be a second round pick in January. While it is too early to know how that will turn out, he doesn't look like an amazing QB to me. Blaine Gabbert, at number 10, has been terrible til date. In 2010 the second QB was Tebow at 25, which is another story. 2009 has Mark Sanchez, who I need not say anything about. 2008 was similar to 2010 in that there was only one QB in the top 10. 2007 had Jamarcus Russel and Brady Quinn, 2006 with Vince Young and Leinart, and 2005 had Alex Smith. All of these picks had one thing in common: a team desperate for a QB, willing to look past the negatives of picking a QB and work with mindless optimism. The last QB picked in the top 10 every year (other that 2008 and 10) have been terrible. Teams decide that a QB will make their franchise, and convince themselves that this guy is "the guy" year after year.

The book Scorecasting, by Tobias Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim (a great book, by the way) talks about the NFL draft in one chapter. In it, they say:

As a rule, people are overconfident in their abilities. In all sorts of different contexts, we’re more sure of ourselves than we probably should be. In a well-known study, people were asked at random whether they were above-average drivers. Three-quarters said they were. Similarly, between 75 and 95 percent of money managers, entrepreneurs, and teachers also thought they were “above average” at their job. Not everyone, of course, can be above average. You’d expect roughly half to be. How many times are hiring decisions made on intuition because a boss on the other side of the desk is convinced that in a 30-minute interview she’s found the best candidate? How often do doctors advise a treatment plan because of intuitive decisionmaking, not because of evidence-based decision-making? They’re just sure they’re right. In the same way, NFL general managers (and sometimes their interfering owners) tend to be overconfident in their ability to assess talent. They trust their gut. Not altogether a bad thing, but they trust it too much and overpay as a result. Never mind the math; they fancy themselves the exception. They know they’re right about this player, just as every entrepreneur knows his business plan is better and every mutual fund manager knows she’s got the winning stock picks

This too is true of fans. While no one was happy we didn't pick Matt Ryan or Brady Quinn instead of John Beck and Chad Henne, did anyone feel like the latter two were bound to be flops? We all may not have been confident in the pick, but we still felt like they could very well end up being the next Tom Brady, at least for a little while. None of us, however, felt like Brian Brohm (picked one spot before Henne) was going to be like that. I'm sure Packers fans did, however.

We are optimists be nature, and we must be optimistic to believe that Tannehill will be a franchise QB as the eighth pick in the draft. We can't, however, allow blind optimism to replace reason as a type of judgement. Even with a franchise QB, we still need more pieces to be a championship caliber team. The probability that Tannehill can be a piece in this puzzle is less than any of the other four possible picks. At best, granted, he could be a top caliber QB. At worst, however, he would be worth nothing, which is unheard of from an offensive lineman from Iowa or a top defensive player from Bama. That is the main reason I am against picking him.

Another article supporting my claim of over rating QBs can be found here, on Arrowhead pride (SB Nation's Chiefs blog). The most important quote is probably:

1st QB taken has value almost 50% higher than 2nd QB taken, and almost 300% higher than 3rd QB taken. If you need a QB, get the unanimous #1 guy...but might as well stay away if the first 2 are gone. So not only does it matter the round drafted, but also how many other QBs have been drafted prior to the guy.

Long story short, Tannehill being the best thing since sliced bread is extremely unlikely. He is a mirage in the desert, over rated because of our desperation. The only way for us to get better is not to jump on any and every hope at extreme costs (see: Raiders, Oakland), but to pick your choices strategically. In this case, a better choice would be a choice who is definitely worthy of a top 10 pick, such as Coples, Ingram, or Reiff. Otherwise, we may end up with an expensive bust and several "what ifs?".

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Phinsider's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of The Phinsider writers or editors.

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