In the feverish weeks leading up to the draft, we heard one persistent knock on Ryan Tannehill: He's not an NFL-ready quarterback.
Touted for his athleticism and build, Tannehill was seen by experts a player who needed time to develop. NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock said Tannehill was "at least a year away" and shouldn't be considered a top 10 pick.
The Miami Dolphins disagreed, taking Tannehill eighth overall. Now for that "year away" business -- we might need to revise that.
Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland told Sirius XM NFL Radio that Tannehill is "going to look like he's ready pretty quick." The rookie benefits from the presence of offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, Tannehill's former coach at Texas A&M, who imported a playbook with which Tannehill is "80 to 85 percent" familiar.
"He has knowledge of the offense," Ireland said, via The Miami Herald. "There are two other experienced players (Matt Moore and David Garrard) who are great pros. We drafted him to let him compete for the position. We need to play better at that position, whether it's a new player or Matt. That position really has to be more productive."
We don't expect Tannehill to sit for long -- not in the current climate, where rookie passers are playing (and, in the case of Mr. Cam Newton, dominating) out of the chute. At Miami's rookie minicamp over the weekend, Tannehill told reporters: "I hope I'm looked at as the leader of the team."
Those days aren't far away.