An all-draft Friday buzz column:
Feedback on Dolphins’ No. 1 draft pick Ryan Tannehill:
### ESPN’s Mel Kiper: “I thought he was a late one, early two during the year. I didn’t put him in my top 25 until three weeks ago. I moved him to 18. Mike Sherman coached him. If you’re a GM, don’t you trust Mike Sherman and Joe Philbin to make that call? Receiver in 30 games, quarterback in 19. This has never happened – top 10 pick for a guy with a position change. The quarterback when he was playing wide receiver wasn’t even drafted. So this is unprecedented this high in the draft for an inexperienced quarterback like Tannehill.
“He also had some struggles against big-time opponents this past year. Ideal size, strong arm, very competitive, very athletic, very smart. The way he threw on the move, he did a nice job. When you watched games against Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, nine interceptions in those games. Game management is an issue. Forced the ball into coverage. Questionable reads. Too many ill-advised throws.
“He’s got to throw the ball away, don’t force the ball. He leaves you scratching your head with some of his decisions. He needs a lot of work. Mike Sherman will develop him. He’ll sit behind Matt Moore or David Garrard. Second year, third year, when they think he’s ready, we’ll see what Ryan Tannehill has to offer.”
### ESPN’s Jon Gruden: “He needs to tighten up his decision making. That’s what hurt him this year, forcing the ball when he got behind in down and distance. It happened three or four times. He has to find his way to play his best football in a two-minute drill. I really like this pick, because Sherman and Tannehill continue to work together.”
### NFL Network’s Mike Mayock: “He has a lot of potential. I love his work ethic, but he shouldn’t be a top 10 pick. Maybe not a top 15 or 20 pick. He’s a boom or bust franchise franchise guy. I don’t think he’s ready to be a heavy contributor next year. I watched every throw he made on tape. All the out-breaking routes are phenomenal. Where he gets in trouble are the in-breaking routes where he stares receivers down, pats the football and throws it late.”
### NFL Network’s Charley Casserly: “I don’t see an elite quarterback here. I see a guy that can develop and be a solid quarterback.” But “I like him better than Jake Locker and Christian Ponder.”
### NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi: “He’s a guy Miami is reaching for in a sense of desperation, because they didn’t get their quarterback. Great players typically never move. Joe Flacco transferred; he never moved positions. To me, that is bothersome. He’s a potential starter, and drafting potential [but not definite] starters with the eighth pick is not something I would do.”
### Sports Illustrated’s Tony Pauline: “He’s made a lot of mistakes. He has potential to be very good, but it’s too much risk” at No. 8.
### Fox’s Brian Billick said he would be “scared” to draft Tannehill and he feels like a “classic miss,” adding, “He reminds me of JaMarcus Russell. Both shot up draft boards based on how they look in shorts.”
### NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci said the Dolphins should “let him compete early” and not assume he will sit as a rookie: “This is going to be a competition with Matt Moore, there’s no doubt. But he has the advantage of being in that system before Matt Moore. He can do it all. He can throw from the run, he can escape. I would love to work with this guy because he has all the tools.”
### NFL Network’s Marshall Faulk: “The Dolphins had an unfair advantage on every team” because of the presence of offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, his former coach at Texas A&M.
### ESPN’s Todd McShay: “I don’t think the difference between Tannehill and Robert Griffin is all that great. He has everything you look for in a potential franchise quarterback if you develop him properly and are willing to be patient. In my mind, he was a mid to late first round prospect but when you start to look at it and take your initial bias out of it, he has everything you look for. He belongs in the top 10 and has a chance to be an elite quarterback in the NFL. He has all the physical tools – size, strength, the accuracy, the mentality to handle pressure and has intangibles through the roof.”
### FYI: ESPN's Chris Mortensen said Miami rated Tannehill one of the top five quarterbacks of the past five years in terms of athleticism and arm talent. He said the Dolphins sat Tannehill in a room with Sherman, asked Tanehill if Sherman made a mistake by not starting him at quarterback when he arrived, and Tannehill clearly explained why it was a mistake. That impressed Dolphins management. By the way, Texas A&M counted 64 dropped passes by receivers last season, but the Dolphins counted 79, mitigating some concerns about his fourth-quarter issues.
### The Dolphins believe they can find a quality receiver at No. 72 or 73 if they don’t take one, such as South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery or LSU's Rueben Randle or Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill (if any of those three are there) at 42. If they wait until the 70s, they will choose from a group potentially including Rutgers’ Mohamed Sanu and Appalachian State’s Brian Quick (both could go higher), UM’s Tommy Streeter (Bill Parcells rates him as a second-rounder), FIU’s T.Y. Hilton, Iowa’s Marvin McNutt, Arizona’s Juron Criner, Wake Forest’s Chris Givens ,Arkansas' Joe Adams and Michigan State’s Keyshawn Martin.
Among less prominent receivers the Dolphins have shown interest in: Nevada mid-rounder Rishard Matthews (a skilled punt returner) and late-round Iowa State prospect Darius Reynolds, whom Miami’s staff privately has compared to Packers receiver James Jones.
### The Dolphins ideally want to add a pass-rusher Friday and have their eye on a dozen second- or third-round types. Among those on their radar: Marshall’s Vinny Curry, Clemson’s Andre Branch, Oklahoma’s Ronnell Lewis, Boise State’s Tyrone Crawford, UM’s Olivier Vernon, Wake Forest’s Kyle Wilber, Virginia’s Cam Johnson and Cal’s Trevor Guyton – also have been discussed. They liked West Virginia's Bruce Irvin, who surprisingly went 15th to Seattle.
Among late-round options, remember they’ve spent a lot of private time with USC defensive end Armond Armstead, once considered a potential first-round before Trojan doctors wouldn’t let him play in 2011 because of chest pains last spring. He has been cleared medically.
### If the Dolphins don’t take a pass rusher or receiver at 42, they’ll give strong thought to a right tackle if Stanford’s Jonathan Martin, Ohio State’s Mike Adams, Mississippi’s Bobby Massie or Illinois’ Jeff Allen are there. They also are intrigued by Iowa State guard/tackle Kelechi Osemele, who was summoned to Davie recently. And don’t rule out cornerback in this spot; the Dolphins like several, including Montana’s Trumaine Johnson.
### If they wait until 72 or 73 for a right tackle, there will be options, potentially FSU’s Zebrie Sanders, Cal’s Mitchell Schwartz, Auburn’s Brandon Mosley and South Dakota’s Tom Compton. Among late-round tackles, they called to express interest and get more game tape from Oklahoma State's Levy Adcock… The Dolphins would like to add another guard at some point, with Miami of Ohio’s Brandon Brooks, Rutgers’ Desmond Wynn and Iowa’s Adam Gettis among those on their radar.
### Wayne State offensive tackle Joe Long, named the Division II Lineman of the Year for 2011, would be thrilled to be reunited with his brother, Dolphins All-Pro Jake Long. “It’s a huge dream of his to play with his brother,” Wayne State offensive line coach Terry Heffernan said. “They’re very close. He was the best man at Jake’s wedding in Naples” recently.
Whereas Jake was drafted first overall in 2008, Joe might not be drafted. At 6-5, 307 pounds, he started every game of his career at left tackle but could also play on the right side. “No other team has evaluated him as long as Miami has,” Heffernan said. “They’ve sent a scout every year."
Last year, Jake Long recommended his brother to then-Dolphins offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, who now has the same job with the Jets. The Jets brought him in for a visit recently.
### Among the small-school prospects that the Dolphins have shown particular interest in: California (Penn.) receiver Thomas Mayo and Albion cornerback Chris Greenwood.
### Quick late Thursday night update on the Heat-Knicks schedule: Games 1 and 2 in Miami will be 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Monday. Games 3 and 4 in New York will be 7 p.m. Thursday and 3:30 p.m. Sunday. They will then play (if needed) the following Wednesday in Miami, Friday in N.Y., and Sunday in Miami.