Jim Irsay called Ryan Tannehill a "hidden gem" and a "quiet secret" destined for the No. 3 pick in April's draft, but the Colts owner does not coach football games. Neither does Brian Billick, but he used to, and when he looks at the Texas A&M quarterback, a very dubious comparison comes to mind.
JaMarcus Russell, perhaps the biggest draft bust in NFL history.
Billick, an NFL Network analyst, appeared on ESPN's "Mike and Mike" show Thursday and said Tannehill reminds him of Russell because they "both shot up draft boards based on how they looked in shorts."
Russell underachieved in every sense of the word, and the Oakland Raiders don't get a free pass on taking him with the top overall pick in 2007.
Billick shouldn't receive a free pass for his track record drafting QBs, either. With the Baltimore Ravens from 1999 to 2007, the list includes Chris Redman (2000), Wes Pate (2002), Kyle Boller (19th overall in 2003), Josh Harris (2004), Derek Anderson (2005) and Troy Smith (2007). Not exactly a carnival of celebrated arms.
"I like the guy. I like him as a prospect," Casserly said of Tannehill. "He has a strong arm, I think he can throw the out cut, has good movement. I think he's a guy that sees the field."
Casserly said he interviewed a dozen teams after the season and they all described Tannehill as a late-first, early-second round pick, who will probably get moved up because of a lack of quarterbacks.
"What you're having here is a guy who, potentially now, is going to go much higher in the draft than he's rated -- that's the tendency with quarterbacks," Casserly said.