Watching college bowls and trying to write a master's thesis is fairly incompatible. I'm watching Texas A&M right now, so I decided to write the Tannehill fanpost you guys asked for. I'm using Dan Kadar's standard format from Mocking the Draft. It's the same one that I used for Tim Tebow two years ago.
Ryan Tannehill, Quarterback, Texas A&M University, 6-4/220
Accuracy: Former high school duel-threat quarterback that has a natural ability to hit receivers inside the strike zone. Puts the nose of the where it needs to be most throws, and can complete passes when receivers are covered. Flawed footwork due to only playing quarterback in college for 20 games in four years, and Tannehill's accuracy could improve with additional mechanical tuning. Has shown the ability to make all the required NFL throws at the college level. When Tannehill does everything right mechanically, the ball comes out well and on target. Can change his throwing arm angle to fit the able around defenders.
Arm Strength: Very strong arm. Can put the ball where he wants it to go. Arm strength is natural and not the result of throwing technique. Spirals are tight, and he can put a lot of velocity on the football. Can throw the out route from the opposite hash mark on a rope. Fits the ball into tight coverage windows. Good deep thrower, though he needs some work on ball placement. Has a tendency to throw the ball too hard at times. Can still improve since he is still built like a wide receiver, and could add some strength.
Athleticism/mobility: Above average mobility. Runs like a bigger possession receiver, which he used to be. Not overly elusive, and not a candidate to run the read option, but can scramble to buy time or pick up yards. Used to being hit from receiver days and takes hits well. Not an easy target to bring down, and will sometimes throw off the first tackler. Not going to win a ton of footraces, but is far from a statue and will keep plays alive.
Decision-making/Field Vision: This is an area Tannehill has made the great strides, and can continue to improve. Plays in Mike Sherman's horizontal timing offense and is asked to make a lot of quick timing throws. Runs Sherman's entire playbook. At times, Texas A&M offense has a very pro feel to it, and Tannehill is often asked to make pro style progression reads. Tannehill runs the offense well for only playing 20 games. Makes quick decisions and puts the ball where it needs to go, on-time. Most of his predicated reads are bubble screens, and is required to see the entire field most throws, which he does well. Reads defenses pre-snap and during his drop. Texas A&M doesn't call audibles from the sidelines, and all audibles are Tannehill's responsibility, which he has improved at. Keeps his eyes downfield when scrambling. Tannehill is a smart player who understands the game from the thrower and receiver position, has executed a pro style offense, and has shown the ability to learn quickly. Will only get better with time, and he's pretty good now.
Mechanics: Tannehill needs some work here, though his throwing motion is pretty clean. Throwing motion is sound, with no hitches and the ball comes out quick. Tannehill needs to work on consistency. His arm motion is the same speed on almost every throw, which is a real good sign, and he has the ability to change his throwing angle. Sometimes changes his throwing angle when it's not required. Needs to work on foot placement, as he gets inconsistent with his footwork.
Pocket Awareness/Poise: For a player that has had limited experience, Tannehill's pocket presence is remarkable. He's natural in the pocket. He feels the rush but doesn't get happy feet. Steps up in the face of pressure and makes throws on target. Only scrambles when he needs to, and won't bail the pocket prematurely. Very strong leadership skills, and seems calm under pressure. Doesn't rattle in the pocket, or when he's playing poorly. Came back to lead the would-be winning drive against Texas after a poor game.
Touch: Needs work. Will gun the ball into receivers when he doesn't need to, and his arm will overpower them at times. Throws a nice fade route and puts air under the ball at times, but could work on it's placement. Will sometimes overthrow deep routes, or not put enough arm under the throw.
Overall: When I watch Tannehill, I watch him from a projecting mindset. He's already running a pro style offense, and is familiar with playing under center in conventional sets. He's got a lot of ability that can't be taught. He's accurate, has a strong arm, pocket presence, leadership, and is calm under pressure. He's also very intelligent and has picked up Mike Sherman's complete pro style offense in 20 games, including reading defenses and calling his own audibles. This also shows a willingness to learn. Those are things that are hard to coach into a player.
He needs work on his mechanics, touch, and still needs to continue his progress on reading defenses. He's come so far in such a short time, though, and I believe these are improvements he will make in time. Tannehill is the type of quarterback that could use a year or two behind a starter, finishing his work mentioned above, then being ready to start.
Tannehill is a leader with all the traits of a starting NFL quarterback. I wouldn't hesistate to select him in the top ten of the 2012 Draft. We've seen plenty of quarterbacks in recent drafts climb into the first round: Philip Rivers, Tim Tebow, and from 2011, Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert. Tannehill is a particularly good fit for Buffalo because he has the traits of an outdoor, cold weather quarterback. Within a few years, I think Tannehill's experience will catch up with his natural abilities, and he'll develop into a franchise quarterback.