Here is what I’ve been pondering the last couple of weeks about the Bills and how they should enter this draft: The front office and coaching staff have to believe that this is the last time they will be drafting in the top ten. So, at some point they will need to address the quarterback situation. Draft someone who they feel can sit behind Fitz, because let’s face it, he isn’t going anywhere soon, but they need to develop someone into their future franchise quarterback. They’ve missed on drafting a quality quarterback since 1983. We know they had an opportunity to move up to draft Roethlisberger, but didn’t. Instead they REACHED for J.P. Losman in 2004 and took Trent Edwards in 2007.
Three fails. (And I’ll remind everyone once again: If Andrew Luck came out last year, Cam Newton would’ve been Buffalo’s pick. DRINK!) The Bills will bring in Ryan Tannehill for an official visit. Due diligence? Most likely. Tannehill would make it four quarterbacks brought in for official visits (Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler, Kirk Cousins (Michigan St) and Russell Wilson (Wisconsin).
So now the question becomes after last week’s visit:
Is he worth the move?
After Luck and Griffin go 1 and 2, the Vikings hold the key to the draft. If they hold firm and make a pick, then Cleveland at number four may in fact jump all over Tannehill. Look for Miami to make a bold move on draft day to the three spot because we all know they are just as desperate for a quarterback. If the Bills really like Tannehill, they will have to move up for him. No way will he be available at ten. If Buffalo wants to move, they would have to jump all the way to three, and that’s a very expensive jump.
Will they move up to get him? No.
If he somehow slips all the way to Buffalo at ten will they draft him? Well…….Yes. I think they do. They may be forced to. It is of the popular opinion to discount Tannehill. “He isn’t a top ten quarterback. Who? Why would anyone trade up for him” etc..etc..etc. The answer to this question is very simple: We are in a quarterback league. If you don’t have a good one, you will suffer. (i.e. Buffalo Bills)
Ryan Tannehill, QB Texas A&M: Tannehill set single-season TAMU records for yards (3,744), attempts (531) and completions (327) in 2011. Ryan was a finalist for the Unitas Award, the Campbell Trophy and a semifinalist for the Davy O’Brien Award (best QB in the nation) this past season. Ryan also finished second on the school’s single-season list in touchdown passes (29) and total offense (4,050). In his first full season at quarterback this year, Tannehill had six 300-yard passing games, including a 415-yard game against Robert Griffin and Baylor. He finished his career with 5,450 yards and 42 TD passes. He played under Mike Sherman in a pro style type offense with spread offense characteristics. Has great accuracy and an NFL ready arm. One thing that the scouts speak highly on and what Chan Gailey will like: He throws very well on the run. Accuracy? Here is what cbssports.com has to say about that:
Very good accuracy in the short passing game, puts ball on the numbers or in a place where receiver can make a play after the catch, even when throwing off his back foot. Quite accurate making plays on the run, squares his shoulders throwing in either direction, has deft touch but also puts some zip on shorter to intermediate throws and places the ball to the outside. Hits open receivers in stride down field. Generally throws a nice fade to the outside, will under throw when trying to put too much air under the pass. Makes intermediate throws to the short side of the field, but too often sails throws over the middle or to the sideline from the pocket.
So here we have a tall (6’4) strong armed, mobile and smart quarterback (who one day hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon) who played under an NFL coach in a pro style system in college. The one thing he needs to work on is that he does have the tendency to stare down receivers. The more video and scouting reports I check out, the more I believe he would be a perfect fit for Gailey in what his offense calls for.
Brock Osweiler, QB Arizona State – Arizona Cardinal’s QB coach John McNulty after seeing Brock’s pro day:
“Everybody talks about his height (6-7), but he obviously moves very well for his size. And that idea that he could have gone to Gonzaga to play basketball is something people take into consideration, for his athletic ability,” McNulty said. He’s showed a big arm today, that’s for sure. He threw a lot of deep balls, which was nice.”
From what I have heard and have gathered from reading and talking to people, this is the guy Buffalo is very high on. In fact, the Bills scouted him heavily during the season. This would be an excellent third round choice. He stands 6’7′ and has a great combination of size, arm strength, accuracy and surprising athleticism. He is a work in progress however, as he only started 15 college games. After seeing only six games of action in 2010, where he passed for 797 yards and 5 touchdowns (0 interceptions), Brock took off in 2011 with ASU and their adaptation of the spread offense.
In 2011, Brock passed for 4,036 yards and 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. If the Bills are looking for a project to sit behind Fitz for 2-3 years, well, this is the guy. As stated, he played in the spread offense, which Gailey likes and has a big arm with excellent accuracy. He moves well, even though he’s not fast. The work in progress will be him reading defenses. He wasn’t asked to do that at Arizona St, but given his height, that is something he can pick up. Remember this name Bills fans.
The more I read and hear, the more I think there is another guy out there who will be probably be a late first round pick (Browns at 22 if they don’t get Tannehill) or early to mid 2nd round pick and that quarterback is:
Brandon Weeden, QB Oklahoma St – Yes I’m fully aware he is older then Aaron Rodgers by two months, and only a year older then Ryan Fitzpatrick. Here is the story on Weeden:
The New York Yankees drafted Weeden in the second round of the 2002 MLB draft, then he pitched for the Dodgers and Royals before a torn labrum and tendinitis in his rotator cuff ended his baseball career. Instead of having surgery on his injuries, he decided to pursue football. (info from CBSSports.com)
Oklahoma State then red-shirted Weeden during the 2007 season and he played sparingly in 2008 and 2009 (Completing 15 of 24 passes for 248 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in three games) before putting up first-team All-Big 12 numbers in 2010 (66.9 completion pct, 4,277 yards, 34 TD, 13 INT) with a ruptured throwing thumb suffered in Week 2. In 2011, Weeden really took off throwing for 4,727 passing yards and 37 TDs. He leaves the Cowboys as their all time leader in passing yards and touchdowns (9,260 & 75). He played in the spread under Mike Gundy and his age can be viewed as a crutch or as a bonus. He played minor league baseball, riding around in a bus while dealing with the everyday pressure of becoming a MLB player.
Strong, durable, has an NFL ready arm, doesn’t overthrow the ball to open receivers, shows great touch on fade patterns, and can stick a throw over the middle. Again, the biggest thing he has going for him is his age. But I really like him. If either Cleveland or Miami pass on Tannehill in the first round, I can see them grabbing Weeden later on.