2012 NFL Draft | Chiefs Eyeing Ryan Tannehill?
The Kansas City Chiefs were among the many teams that expressed serious interest in signing free agent quarterback Peyton Manning. After all of the inconsistency out of the quarterback position since the days of Trent Green, why wouldn’t they?
However, like every team that went after Manning (except for the Denver Broncos, of course), the Chiefs accepted defeat and embraced their incumbent starter, Matt Cassel.
But that may not last through the 2012 NFL Draft.
According to the Kansas City Star, the Chiefs could be serious contenders to draft Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the 11th pick in the first round of the draft.
The Star notes that the Chiefs’ brass “haven’t seemed sold” on Cassel as the future of the position, and with their obvious interest in upgrading with Manning, it doesn’t appear that the Chiefs are afraid of moving on.
And who could blame them? Cassel was supposed to be the team’s savior, a concrete franchise passer. Instead, he delivered mixed reviews in his initial season with the team, had a stellar season in 2010 with a trip to the playoffs, and arguably crashed back down to earth in 2011.
The best you can say about Cassel at the moment is that he’s shown promise, but is otherwise a very inconsistent NFL quarterback.
That type of uncertainty can be the birth of some rash decisions. Or in the Chiefs case, some harsh, calculated, wise decisions.
No one can be sure how Cassel will develop if he continues to be backed by Kansas City, but what the Chiefs are reportedly wondering, is if Tannehill could end up being better than Cassel with that same backing.
There’s a decent chance he could be.
Despite being regarded as raw and a “project”, Tannehill actually possesses some of the best skills in the draft at the quarterback position, and has displayed excellent ability as a pocket passer.
“He has everything you look for,” said ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay recently. “He belongs in the top 10 and has a chance to be an elite quarterback in the NFL.
McShay might be right. However, the problem of availability comes to light, as the Chiefs are still stuck at the 11th spot in the first round, and two teams ahead of them, the Cleveland Browns (4th) and the Miami Dolphins (8th), are extremely interested in nabbing him.
In fact, you arguably can’t even completely rule out the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars, who also pick ahead of the Chiefs.
Whether or not the Chiefs trade up for Tannehill or sit tight and play the odds, the mere speculation involving Manning and Tannehill tells all of Kansas City that the franchise’s decision-makers are not sold on Cassel as the future, and a change at the game’s most important position could be coming soon for the Chiefs.