Yesterday, SB Nation released their final AFC East Draft Grades with the video above. When I posted it as a Fan Shot, many people were vocally critical of Dan Rubenstein, who assessed the Miami Dolphins' draft. The major sticking point seemed to be Rubenstein's statment that new Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill could succeed in the right situation in the NFL, but that the Dolphins are not that situation.
Without expanding on how the Dolphins are not the right situation, Rubenstein then seems to blow off the rest of the Dolphins draft, liking the pick of Lamar Miller, but not a whole lot more for Miami. But, in order to get a better idea of what he meant in his assessment, I reached out to Rubenstein, asking him to if he would be willing to clarify a little more.
"Sure thing. I think it comes down to Tannehill being intriguing physically, but given his limited experience and success at the QB position, he projects (to me, anyway) as a project who would greatly benefit from practice reps to get comfortable with NFL speed, terminology, and playbooks, rather than being (mostly likely) thrust into a savior-like position, as QBs drafted in the top ten often are. I watched enough of him last season during A&M games to recognize his undeniable physical skills, but also his undeniable inconsistency.
"I get, in the grander sense, why Miami would reach on a QB considering how extraordinarily important it is to have an elite QB in the NFL, but value-wise, to me, he appears to be a year away from being NFL ready. As someone who primarily covers college football, it's fascinating to see how pro people evaluate the talent I've followed for years, or in Tannehill's case, year.
"Beyond RT, I like Jonathan Martin, especially where the Dolphins picked him up, but I think he needs to rebuild his body a bit to maximize the downs he's physically able to play in the NFL.
"I like Lamar Miller, he could see his carries progressively increase over the next couple years, Egnew has been consistently productive, as has Cunningham, though, again a lot of their future success will be dependent on the development of Tannehill and the OL, which is still obviously a question.
"In the end, I felt good about some of their lower rounds (including Josh Kaddu, 3-year starter at an elite program means something) and dubious about Tannehill, so I felt it was just OK, hence the "C."
"If I'm proven wrong, I'd be happy about it -- very little is cooler than someone proving their worth or dopes like me to be, well, dopes, but that's just how he and the draft strike me."
Thanks to Dan for taking the time to do this.
Does his explanation help clarify his position? Let us know in the comments below.