With some other potential options available, there were questions as to whether the Dolphins would go all-in at quarterback.
“The best way to indicate if the Miami Dolphins really liked him was to see if they were going to select him at eight, and they did,” said John Congemi, who played quarterback at Pittsburgh and in the Canadian Football League. “They got that opportunity.”
Tannehill’s selection marked just the third time in franchise history that a quarterback was selected in the first round. Because the first two–Bob Griese and Dan Marino–played their entire Hall of Fame careers with the Dolphins, there will be high expectations for the former Texas A&M quarterback. That, of course, won’t mean anything for Tannehill, who may need to spend some time on the sidelines to get some seasoning.
Since the team is making a big investment, Congemi said the team must have a conviction that Tannehill will be the guy.
“They must believe that in the very near future that Tannehill is going to be the quarterback that can take them deep into the playoffs and win, ultimately, a Super Bowl,” Congemi said. “That’s what you have to gauge these quarterbacks on. It’s a quarterback-driven league.”
Tannehill, who played wide receiver for the Aggies for two and a half years before switching to quarterback, displayed the type of athleticism that is necessary for a West Coast quarterback. Aside from his good footwork and speed, Congemi said he was impressed by Tannehill’s field awareness, especially in the red zone.
“I really just thought that he had good awareness,” Congemi said. “As his anticipation and timing grow and they mature, I think his ability, his arm strength, will take over and he’ll become a very good quarterback.”
With so much speculation that Tannehill would be the pick, many wondered whether there was a chance that external sources, outside of the football staff, would influence the decision. Congemi, though, thinks that Tannehill was likely always the target.
“Everybody tried to read into it to maybe say that the Dolphins could possibly move out of the eighth pick,” Congemi said. “But I think in the room, with the Dolphins brass, from the ownership to the GM, all the way down to the coaching staff, I think Ryan Tannehill was probably their choice all along.”
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