2015 NFL DRAFT

Aggies QB Tannehill impresses with several teams watching

by | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- After a right foot injury sidelined him for the last two months, quarterback Ryan Tannehill finally had his day to shine in front of NFL scouts and evaluators on Thursday in College Station. And he didn't disappoint.

Tannehill, NFLDraftScout.com's third-ranked quarterback, ran one 40-yard dash -- Texas A&M listed his time at 4.62 seconds -- and threw for over 30 minutes with 22 NFL teams represented.

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Seattle and Miami brought the most firepower. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, GM John Schneider and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell were all on hand. The Dolphins' contingent included head coach Joe Philbin and GM Jeff Ireland. The Browns sent offensive coordinator Brad Childress and quarterback coach Mark Whipple to College Station to watch Tannehill.

Tannehill completed 65 of 68 passes with two drops and one slight overthrow on a 40-yard bucket pass downfield to Jeff Fuller. He started his passing session with rollouts, bootlegs and several drop-back motions that required him to maneuver inside and outside the pocket. It became evident quickly that his foot was healed. Tannehill displayed his strong arm with very good technique, using his hips and follow-through to establish top velocity on difficult passes. He showed very good ball placement, especially on the run.

"I felt good, it was a good day," said Tannehill after his workout. "I'm a competitor. It was tough sitting on the sidelines (because of the injury). To get my day today was great and it was fun."

With scripted passes, no defensive pressure and perfect conditions throwing indoors, Tannehill was expected to look good. Most important for his pro stock -- teams saw what they needed to see -- he's healthy.

Tannehill had surgery in January after he broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot and was forced to miss the Senior Bowl and combine. He even had to limp down the aisle with crutches at his wedding in late January. Nonetheless, the foot looked healed and Tannehill impressed those in attendance.

"He should be very proud of his workout today," said Carroll. "He did a nice job."

Tannehill ran in the high 4.5s and low 4.6s in the 40-yard dash and did not repeat the sprint as is customary. He did not participate in any other shuttle or agility drills. Tannehill, who was recruited as a quarterback out of high school, carries some questions about his playing experience with only 19 career starts under center after playing two seasons as a wide receiver.

"I had fun helping my team," Tannehill said, "but at the end of the day I wanted to be a quarterback."

Childress, the former Vikings head coach and current Browns offensive coordinator, brought a fresh perspective. He said he's fine with the lack of experience because Tannehill is extremely moldable and isn't already set in his ways.

"It's remarkable that a wide receiver came in as proficient as he did at a big-time program," said Childress. "I have no reservations (about lack of experience). I like kids who haven't been playing the position since Pop Warner."

Tannehill had dinner with the Dolphins and Seahawks -- he was dining with the Dolphins' brass when the Seahawks showed up -- Wednesday night and also mentioned several upcoming private workouts with teams. He has been working out in Florida at IMG with former Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke, who was instrumental in preparing 2011 No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton last year. Weinke had high praise for Tannehill's Thursday pro day.

"I couldn't be more happy with his performance today," said Weinke. "He processes at a fast pace, very good understanding of offense and had the luxury playing for a former NFL guy in college (Mike Sherman). There is no question in my mind that he's a franchise quarterback."

Former Aggies wide receiver Fuller and running back Cyrus Gray participated in the workout and both looked good catching passes from Tannehill. Sherman, the Dolphins' offensive coordinator who was fired by Texas A&M after the 2011 season, was not in attendance.

But the buzz today was about the quarterback. With Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin expected to be drafted in some order with the top two picks, Tannehill is expected next off the board anywhere from fourth (Browns) to the mid-first round. The Dolphins, who missed out on several quarterback targets in free agency, are a likely destination with the eighth pick.

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