Healed Ryan Tannehill shows elite talent at Texas A&M Pro Day

Posted Thursday, Mar. 29, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

Texas A&M University, which is moving to the Southeastern Conference for athletics next school year, is considering changing the lyrics of The Aggie War Hymn. The school's fight song includes the phrase "Goodbye to Texas University, so long to the orange and the white." Should A&M continue to say goodbye to UT or not?

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COLLEGE STATION -- Ryan Tannehill has yet to pick out his suit for his trip to Manhattan for the NFL Draft next month. As a quarterback, it's better to feel good than to look good.

And Tannehill, after having foot surgery in January, feels great.

The former Texas A&M quarterback completed 65 of 68 passes during his personal Pro Day at the McFerrin Indoor Facility. Two of his incompletions were drops. The one miss came when he overthrew Jeff Fuller on a deep ball Tannehill later said he'd like to have back.

"We're getting a little picky now," said Chris Weinke, Tannehill's personal coach who scripted Thursday's workout. "Here's a guy who threw 60-something balls and missed probably one throw. That's what type of competitor he is, and it says a lot about who he is. He's a very detailed guy."

Tannehill drew a big crowd, with 60 NFL scouts representing 22 teams. The Cleveland Browns, who draft fourth, the Miami Dolphins, who draft eighth, and the Seattle Seahawks, who draft 12th, were well represented. Even the Indianapolis Colts, who are expected to take Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick, sent quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen.

The Dolphins' contingent, which was without offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, took Tannehill to dinner at Republic on Wednesday night. General manager Jeff Ireland, head coach Joe Philbin and player personnel director Brian Gaine did not comment after Tannehill's session.

Tannehill flourished in Sherman's offense at A&M, though he made only 19 starts at quarterback.

"He's played in a system here that prepares him for every throw there is," Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress said. "...He gets it. He knows what he needs to do. This guy is one of those guys who is capable of doing all the things you need to be able to do."

The Browns have a big decision to make. With Stanford's Luck and Baylor's Robert Griffin III expected to go 1-2 in the draft and Cleveland in need of a quarterback, do they select Tannehill, who is not NFL-ready?

Tannehill has played more games at receiver (30) than at quarterback, so whatever team gets Tannehill will be drafting potential.

"He can't possibly know it all," said Childress, who was joined in College Station by Browns quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple. "I think it's remarkable that a guy who is a wide receiver could come in and play as proficiently as he did in a big-time program against big-time competition. Remarkable."

The Browns are among three teams that have private workouts scheduled with Tannehill. He also has a trip planned to Cleveland.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock urges the Browns to take him, arguing Tannehill is an upgrade over Colt McCoy.

"He's going to end up being a top-10 pick," Mayock said. "...I don't think he's ready to play. He struggles with a lot of in-breaking routes, trusting his reads and throwing the ball on in-breaking routes, but that's typical of a lot of young quarterbacks. You'd rather not draft them so high, because you're not going to get a chance to play them [right away]. But in this league, let's face it, the quarterback position is overheated, and that's the way it's going."

Scouts, including Seattle's contingent of general manager John Schneider, head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, were interested in seeing how Tannehill's foot has healed. Tannehill had surgery on his right foot in January after fracturing the fifth metatarsal.

Tannehill ran a 4.62 in the 40-yard dash Thursday, and all 68 of his throws were from under center.

"It's totally healed," Tannehill said. "I don't have any pain anymore, and I'm pretty much cleared to do anything. It feels great."

Only on draft day does Tannehill have a chance of feeling better than he did Thursday.

Charean Williams


Twitter: @NFLCharean

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