When the Miami Dolphins turned in their card last April, and Roger Goodell stepped to the podium to announce Ryan Tannehill as the newest member of the organization, he was immediately tagged with a label. Reach.
Fast forward a year, and the new crop of quarterbacks has considerably less talent at the top than the class of 2012. So where would Tannehill stand in this class? We answer that and more in the Monday mailbag.
Note: If you want to have a question answered in the Monday mailbag, you can email me, contact me on Twitter@MatthewFairburn, or comment in the article below. I'll answer every question you guys send me and include the best ones in this column every week leading up to the draft.
From Carolinapillpusher: Just to play this game...Based on his final college season, if Tannehill were comming out this year, would he be ranked ahead of Barkley? Smith? It feels like this is some validation for Tannehill. Is Barkley even a better prospect than Russell Wilson?
This is an interesting question. I definitely think Tannehill would be in a close competition with Geno Smith to be the first quarterback off the board. Both have similar positive traits, exhibiting excellent pocket movement and the ability to keep their eyes down field against the rush. Tannehill would likely be a close No. 2 to Smith in my book. Meanwhile, it's tough for me to say Russell Wilson was a better prospect than Matt Barkley is. Hindsight is 20-20, and Wilson has found a great schematic fit for his strengths. After seeing how he has performed in the pros, I would rather have Wilson as my longterm answer at quarterback than Barkley, but it's tough to say who the better prospect was coming out.
From @TheFFGhost: Thoughts on Zac Stacy?
Zac Stacy is a running back that caught my eye early in the season, as he was fighting through injury against a tough South Carolina defense. He packs a surprising punch for a guy his size and has all of the agility and speed you would expect a smaller back to have. His toughness is especially encouraging, as few positions require as much toughness as running back. He reminds me a bit of Ahmad Bradshaw.
From @DaPhins: Where do you see Stedman Bailey going? Outside the numbers or just in the slot?
Given his size, many think Stedman Bailey will be relegated to slot duty in the NFL. However, he's more physical than his size would indicate. He runs solid routes and definitely has the speed to hang on the outside. I think he will be a solid No. 2 wide receiver in the NFL. He's not the physical marvel that some other wide receivers in recent years were, but he has reliable hands and runs solid routes. Bailey's NFL quarterback will appreciate those qualities.
From @Ddiggs14: If Aaron Murray declares, will he go first over Geno?
I'm not sure if I've had a chance to formally give my opinion on Aaron Murray. For starters, I would be floored if he passed Geno Smith and became the No. 1 quarterback in this class. Never say never when it comes to the NFL Draft, but I would say that is highly unlikely. In fact, I wouldn't draft him in the first round. He's undersized, inconsistent and makes tons of questionable decisions. Murray's arm strength is impressive, but I've never been too impressed with him as a prospect.
From @BlakeMurphy7: Bigger enigma/payoff: Matt Barkley or Landry Jones?
I would say Matt Barkley is the bigger enigma at this point. I can definitively point to Landry Jones' flaws. He's shown time and time again that he is a puddle under pressure in the pocket and can't deal with a messy pocket. We know he's inconsistent, and for the most part, we know what he can and can't do. I would say Barkley is a bit more unknown, because he ran an offense that was built around the short passing game, limiting what he could put on tape. I do think Barkley has more upside, though, as he's much better moving around the pocket and has proven to be the more consistent player.