"I don't think the difference between Robert Griffin III and Tannehill is all that big, I really don't,'' ESPN's Todd McShay said on a conference call today. "I'd have a very difficult time passing on him at that No. 4 pick. I just think he has everything you look for in a future franchise quarterback if you develop him properly and you're willing to be patient.''
McShay said Tannehill's stock is climbing so high that he's not sure if he'll be available at No. 4. The Dolphins are one team that might be interested in trading up for him.
"It'll be interesting to see if Minnesota trades out and a team tries to trade in ahead of them, maybe Cleveland won't have a chance to get Tannehill at that No. 4 spot,'' said McShay. "I think it's going to be a huge internal struggle trying to figure out if they're going to go with Tannehill and if not, what do you do? I think the whole draft swings at No. 4.''
He said he'd go with Alabama running back Trent Richardson over Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon if Tannehill is gone at No. 4. But a franchise-type quarterback trumps those two positions if he's there, McShay said.
"You can have Trent Richardson and he's going to be a phenomenal back,'' said McShay. "You can have Justin Blackmon, and he's probably going to be in that second tier of wide receivers in the NFL. and that's great, but they don't win Super Bowls. We haven't seen Adrian Peterson win a Super Bowl. We haven't seen Andre Johnson win a Super Bowl. You have a great quarterback you win Super Bowls and I think Tannehill has a chance - if developed properly and you're patient with him -- to become a great quarterback. That's kind of what they're up against.''
McShay said he understands that Tannehill won't be ready to start from day one, but that Colt McCoy is professional enough to compete hard in the interim.
"If you bring in Tannehill and you sit him ideally for a year or the majority of the year, and put him in toward the end of this year to get him some experience, I do think that now you're looking at an organization that has its future franchise quarterback, has a guy that has all the physical tools, the size the arm strength, the accuracy, which continues to improve, has the right mentality, can handle pressure, and has just intangibles through the roof,'' said McShay. "That turns everything around.''
McShay said he's moved Tannehill up to No. 8 on his board after watching the rest of his film over the past four or five days/
"In my mind he was a mid- to late- first-round prospect with a lot of upside, but when you start to look at it and you take your initial bias out of it, he has everything you look for,'' said McShay. "It took taking a step back and looking at everything I had down on paper on this guy to realize he belongs in the top 10 and he has a chance to be an elite quarterback in the NFL. I think he belongs in the top 10 and I'd have no problem pulling the trigger on this guy.''