All of the rumors we were hearing turned out to be true. I think it was a confluence of a lot of things that led to the decision to draft the QB out of Texas A&M. The first was way back at the beginning of the season when Chad Henne got hurt. If Henne would have been healthy and played up to his potential there might not have been a need at QB coming into this season.
The second was that while Matt Moore played fairly well, he is only signed for another year and wasn't drafted very high coming into the league. Moore simply isn't expected to be anything but a good backup. Plus, he hasn't shown a lot of comfort running a west coast style offense. And that is the kind of offense the new head coach, Joe Philbin, is probably most comfortable with given what they ran in Green Bay.
So the long term solution at QB wasn't on the roster. And since it's difficult to win without a good QB and since the fan base was restless and difficult to get into the stands to begin with, they couldn't afford to ignore the position any longer. So regardless of the specific prospects in the draft, I think they had the QB position rated as a high need to begin with.
They probably didn't spend a lot of time thinking about Luck or Griffin. So that left Tannehill, Weeden, Cousins, Russell, etc. And since Mike Sherman, the new offensive coordinator, coached Tannehill at Texas A&M, the team was able to analyze Tannehill at least as well as any other team. I think Sherman's familiarity with Tannehill was probably a big reason the Dolphins were able to feel comfortable with picking such an inexperienced player at #8.
And the final thing I think played a part in the decision was Joe Philbin. Espn ran a thing where they asked a bunch of coaches what is the most important aspect they want from a QB. One of the things Philbin said was escapability. The ability to escape the pocket when pressured is something that helps Aaron Rodgers be as productive as he is. The same goes for Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, and Mike Vick. Even Tony Sparano said this was an important aspect of QB play that is important for creating big plays. So with Tannehill, they see a guy who played WR and is thus a pretty good athlete. Physically, Tannehill seems to have it all. It's mentally where he will have to improve the most. And it's easier to teach a player how to read a defense than it is to teach him how to be a better athlete and throw the ball harder. And part of the reason they hired Philbin was because of his experience working with QBs.
So in retrospect, everything seemed to align for a Tannehill/Dolphins relationship. And while I expressed concern with picking him, I honestly feel a sense of relief now that it's a done deal. We have our QB. For at least the next three years we don't have to wonder about what will happen with the position. We don't have to hear about our lack of first round picks since Dan Marino. The QB of the future is Ryan Tannehill. Hopefully we find some good players to help him out in the next few days of the draft.