By Ryan O’Halloran
Two months before the draft, we know this: Andrew Luck is the top-rated quarterback and Robert Griffin III is next.
But in conference calls with reporters this week, we’ve also semi-established that Ryan Tannehill is No. 3 on the list, it’s just matter of where he’ll go in the first round.
The “second tier” of quarterbacks should be of interest to the Redskins if they attempt to and are out-bid by Cleveland to move into St. Louis’ No. 2 spot to select Griffin.
Can the Redskins trade far down and still get Tannehill? And if not him, is another quarterback worth a late first-round draft pick?
ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay broke down the non-Luck/RG3 group of quarterbacks on Thursday.
“I’ve spent a lot of time breaking down the second wave and their pressure throws,” McShay said.
That makes sense since teams who need quarterbacks are, generally speaking, are teams that have leaky offensive lines.
“Pressure throws, to me, those are the times when you’re hurries, when you’re hit, when you’re knocked down – anytime you have pressure in your face and are flushed to make a play: What do you do?” McShay said. “The more I watch these guys, those are the throws you have to make in the NFL. It separates the good from the great in the NFL.”
And McShay’s current verdict?
“Tannehill is the best of the second tier,” he said. “I know his numbers aren’t great and there are times he misses on throws he should hit, but watching him more and more, he has an ability to create after the play breaks down. … He’s a lot more consistent with his ball placement than he gets credit for. And his intangibles are through the roof. He has a chance to be a good starter and it wouldn’t surprise me if he climbs up the ladder.”
McShay speculated Tannehill could be Seattle’s pick midway through the first round – remember last year, Christian Ponder and Jake Locker went earlier than expected when Jacksonville started a run on quarterbacks with Blaine Gabbert.
If the Redskins can’t move up to get Griffin and they want Tannehill, the task is to project how far – if at all – they can move down without losing a chance at a quarterback.
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