The Miami Dolphins are set to pick Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the eighth overall pick Thursday night as the 2012 NFL Draft kicks off. Right? Maybe? But, what if they don't? What if the skip Tannehill, in favor of Melvin Ingram, Quinton Coples, Justin Blackmon, or Michael Floyd? If the Dolphins don't pick Tannehill, where does he land?
It might be much further down the draft order than anyone actually thinks, at least according to one AFC personnel chief who spoke with NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
"The one that's gonna shake things up is Tannehill," the NFL executive said. "I don't think a lot of teams think of him as a first-round pick. I can see a situation where he doesn't go at all in the top 20. That's really going to change things. You got a guy who started for a year and a half. He hasn't really been, from a team perspective, a winning quarterback. He's got good numbers, there's a lot of things there (to like). But they lost a lot of games in the fourth quarter. Why is he not pulling things out? Why are they losing games?"
The Dolphins are seen as the perfect fit for Tannehill. The team hired former Texas A&M head coach, Mike Sherman, who coached Tannehill throughout his college career, to be the team's offensive coordinator. Another NFL executive, described by Rapoport as a "decision-maker," pointed to the red-flag that a Miami pass on Tannehill would raise. "If Miami doesn't grab him, and they got Mike Sherman there, the teams behind them are going to start questioning, what the hell are we doing taking him?" he said. "If his own coach won't take him, why are we taking him?"
Could Tannehill be the next quarterback to slide deep into the draft? Could Miami gamble that no one else will select the quarterback until late in the first round and look to trade back up to grab him later?
What do you think will happen to Tannehill if Miami doesn't take him? How will you react if the Dolphins pass on the consensus eighth overall pick?