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.

Topics: 2012 NFL Draft, Cleveland Browns, Ryan Tannehill

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  • Jimmy DiDago

     What you just prescribed is what I’d originally thought was the best option for the FO to pursue. Red flags aside, Michael Floyd is easily the best WCO option in this draft. All of the top 5 receivers in this draft, in spite of their tremendous ups, have more than one ‘red flag’ attached to them. Let’s review…
     Justin Blackmon- Comes from the same school and system that allowed Micheal Crabtree to put up comparable numbers and both are enjoying a comparable hype. It is also said that Blackmon’s not all that bright and has a touch of prima- donna in him. He chooses when and when not to give a play his all. If he’s not the primary target, he’ ll get lost in the play and shies away from blocking when he can. Not being able to read the defense and choosing when to be in the play and block are 2 very high no- nos in Holmgren, Heckert, Shurmer, and Childress’ ideal.
     Michael Floyd- There is nothing in play that causes any certain amount scrutiny. The only thing I’ve heard was that he would occasionally slow his pace and rely on his athleticism too make a play. This can be coached out of him. His ‘flags’ come from off the field immaturity mainly and his reported alcohol problem has not caught up with him recently.
     Alshon Jeffery- NOW HERE’S THE GUY I REALLY WANT TO LIKE. Easily the most polished receiver talent- wise in this draft, but, is said to not be much in the classroom or conditioning. Also said to have off the field maturity questions abound. Showed it badly in the combine (250+ lbs./ 4.76, 40) and was said to have interviewed poorly.
     But, ALL that was said to be aleviated for the scouts fear in an explosive pro-day. He came at his natural playing weight (235) and posted the speed (4,49) that all knew he had.
     He’s exceptional outside the numbers at going up tip- toeing the line and could be a devastating red zone receiver. He’s rising again in my eyes and if he can keep it together through the rest of the team visits up until the draft, I would have to call him an absolute steal at 37.
     Stephen Hill- He’s just as raw as they come having only caught just shy of 50 receptions in his three years at Georgia Tech. Not nearly all his fault considering he played the triple option where being a decoy and blocking was his main focus. Good things to be in the WCO. Easily the best ‘plucker’ in this draft from what I’ve seen on tape. He has NO off the field maturity issues and is a phenomenal athlete in spite of his thin frame. Is said to be very coachable and hungry for knowledge. Sounds the most like a Shurmur/ Childress type of player.
     Kendall Wright- Exceptional big play ability coupled with a lack of straight line speed. Played in a spread/ option offense. Not exactly a great fit, but is said to be extremely bright and hungry. Has the toughness you’d like to see from a receiver. NOT a go to receiver in our sceme, but, would be a high production slot machine. His maturity really stands out. 
     In summation, as far as the Top 5 go, I’ll place them like this…..
     I’ll give the nose to ALSHON JEFFERY over MICHAEL FLOYD simply because Alshon could be taken at 37 without any wheeling and dealing. It’s going to take a lot of energy to nab Floyd in his proper draft position which is now at the #10-13 spot.
     Next, I’ll go hesitantly for STEPHEN HILL over KENDALL WRIGHT. A comparable receiver for the slot will be found later in the mid rounds (namely, Keyshawn Martin, Jarius Wright and TJ Graham). There is no comparable athlete at this position as Hill, and based on that alone, I feel his stock is still rising and it would take a TRADE UP from #22 to get him.
     JUSTIN BLACKMON actually falls below my 6th and 7th choices, MARVIN McNUTT and JURON CRINER.
     McNutt is the true sleeper in this draft and along with Criner are absolutely built for the WCO. What Blackmon would do to our draft order would be devastating compared to where these two would be available (#67).
     I’d even put him below a healthy GREG CHILDS and fighting hard with KEYSHAWN MARTIN and MARV JONES.
     Childs would be the greatest steal in this draft should he show that he can be 100% again and I like Martin over Kendall Wright for his draft position and comparables. Jones is another highly polished sleeper who can be a starting #2 with the ‘ups’ to be molded into a #1.

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  • DaveCasey

    I’m sorry but you are just as insane to think that picking Floyd will solve our offensive problems.  I agree that Tannehill is not the answer that early in the draft, but if we drop back between 6th- 8th in the draft we could still possibly have  Richardson (maybe too high for a RB, but the best prospect at position in years), Claiborne (hands down the top defensive player available, imagine Claiborne and Haden at CB for years to come), Tannehill (not sold, but who knows), or Blackmon (who is ranked over Floyd).  Out of all those players the most overrated are the WRs and Tannehill at QB and the only reason they get all the hype is because they are offensive weapons.  Julio Jones was picked 6th last year and he’s better than either of these WRs.  The best part about dropping back is that we could quite possibly end up with who we want AND additional picks.  This draft is stacked with receivers and offensive tackles (which we both need), and we can get a decent RB in the 2nd-3rd round.  Having said all that, my dream would be for us to drop back a couple of spots, pick Claiborne, and use one of the extra picks on one of our core needs (WR,RB,RT).  That way we can get a stud CB and possibly 3 offensive starters and another DE (which we also need).  There’s no guarantee on any of these players, but if I were to put money on anyone it would be Claiborne.  I look at Floyd and all I see is over hype because he played for the Irish.  Tell me it’s not true Brady Quinn.