The Remote Report: Trying to Make Sense of QB Ryan Tannehill

I try to stay true to my word. I try to lay the framework of not being a crazy person by saying that we must trust the system in place. I try to keep an even keel because there are people who spend all of their time and effort on making sure that the Browns make the right decisions. I really try to practice what I preach.

But this Ryan Tannehill situation is getting out of control. My first problem, albeit a ridiculous one, is that I always want to call him Chase, even though his name is Ryan. I don’t like that. More importantly though, Tannehill was an afterthought during the football season as far as top-of-the-draft quarterbacks went. When he was playing meaningful games every week, nobody projected him as being a top-ten pick, let alone a top-five pick.

In a classic case of the NFL being full of the strangest decision-makers in the world, people just started deciding that he was really good, despite throwing 15 interceptions. Those 15 interceptions are the same amount that Tim Couch threw during his senior year before becoming a top draft pick. Rex Grossman and JP Losman (affectionately known as J-Loss) were also right around that 15 pick mark, so at least Tannehill’s got good company.

Oh, I almost forgot this part: the guy didn’t play quarterback until two years ago. Sure, you might think, “Oh, look at how good he became despite just starting to play the position.” And I respect that opinion, kind of.

The flip side is, “How can you have any idea if he’s going to get better since he’s barely played the position? Furthermore, how can the Browns justify throwing their future on a guy who has only ever played a couple seasons at quarterback?” Neither of these are necessarily correct, but I take issue with betting one’s future on a guy who is brand new to the “most important position in football.”

If you’re totally sold that Tannehill is a stud at quarterback, does it bother you that he led A&M to a 7-6 record in one of the worst years the Big 12 has ever had? Does it mean anything that the teams that he torched – SMU, Baylor, and Kansas – basically played flag football while on the defensive side of the ball? How come every other Big 12 quarterback in the past few years (Sam Bradford notwithstanding) got cast aside as a system quarterback but Tannehill isn’t? The Big 12 was bad this year.

But maybe I’m being too hard on the guy. Maybe I’m just projecting the fact that I don’t understand how a guy can move up so far without playing football. Maybe I’m upset that this former second-rounder is now a “must” at No. 4 overall, according to multiple “knowledgeable” sources. Maybe I sound like a broken record for pointing out the complete and utter insanity of the NFL Combine and the way prospects are evaluated by this absurd league.

I would really like to follow my own advice and think, “Okay, these guys are professionals, they know what’s best for the team. They’re doing research, planning appropriately, and taking all things into consideration on this front; they will not make a hasty decision, nor one based on anything besides facts and evidence.” Of course, these guys (Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert, I mean) have also recently said that they’re taking Colt McCoy as the quarterback for right now.

So with that in mind, wouldn’t it make beautiful sense to trade down with the fourth pick? Trade down to about the seventh, get a second-rounder and a late-rounder for it, and take Michael Floyd with the seventh pick.

I promise that I’ve never seen a college receiver as fundamentally solid as Michael Floyd. He runs crisp routes, he doesn’t drop passes, he blocks, he goes up and gets the ball when it’s in the air, and he always, always, always lands on his feet and keeps running. Once he’s taken care of, then the Browns would still have two more of the next 35 picks to continue stockpiling talent for the many other holes that the team needs to address.

I don’t think I have all the answers, and I certainly don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. But I do know that the Browns are blowing an awful lot of smoke right now. From that smoke, I would like to see a few good football players and a few guys who fit into the Browns’ plans emerge. If that means Trent Richardson or Tannehill, fine. If that means taking Morris Claiborne at No. 4, fine. If it means trading down and getting one of the stud wide receivers, great. I just want to be okay with it. I want to let the professionals do their thing while I wait for the team to regain relevance.

We’ve all been waiting a while, though.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft Cleveland Browns Ryan Tannehill

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