Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, not offensive coordinator Mike Sherman or general manager Jeff Ireland, is the driving force behind the team's interest in selecting Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the No. 8 overall pick in this week's NFL draft, a league source told ProFootballTalk.com on Sunday.
Sherman, who joined the Dolphins this offseason, was Tannehill's college coach at Texas A&M. But it's Ross who's making the push, the source said.
Later Sunday, however, a source with the Dolphins sent an e-mail to the Miami Herald to say that the report was not accurate. According to the source, Ross is not telling Ireland what to do with the draft pick, nor is he mandating that Tannehill become a Dolphin. The source said Ross will not be issuing such direct orders regarding the draft.
Clouding the picture, however, was a Monday report from Sports Illustrated's Peter King. King wrote that a source called him to say that the original report from ProFootballTalk.com was correct, and that Ross wants his team to select Tannehill.
The Dolphins need a quarterback after losing out on chances to land free agents Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn. Matt Moore and David Garrard currently are in line to see time at the position next season.
Though many -- including NFL Network draft analysts Mike Mayock and Charley Casserly -- don't see Tannehill as a top-10 draft pick, Casserly doesn't believe the Dolphins would be reaching to take him at No. 8.
"Quarterbacks are drafted higher than they are rated because without a franchise QB in this league, you have little chance to be successful," he recently told The Miami Herald.
Tannehill told NFL.com's Jeff Darlington that he likely would fit well in Sherman's offense in Miami.
"Coach Sherman runs a West Coast offense, kind of drop-back passing, as well as moving the pocket," Tannehill said. "I think that's a couple of things I do well is move and throw on the run. He likes to move the pocket -- bootlegs, nakeds, whatever it may be."
King reported that Sherman views Tannehill favorably but isn't aggressively stumping for the quarterback. Sherman also isn't fielding calls on Tannehill from opposing NFL scouts, NFL.com reporter Ian Rapoport has gathered based on recent conversations with league scouts. Nick Saban took a similar approach during his brief run as Dolphins head coach when he did not take calls on his ex-LSU players, according to Rapoport.