Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Multiple reports, including ones from SI.com and profootballtalk.com, said Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wants the team to draft Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill. You can add ESPN’s Adam Schefter to the list reporting Ross’ wish.
Schefter appeared on ESPN Radio Wednesday morning and said he had heard the same thing other reporters have about Ross wanting Tannehill.
“It will be interesting to see how that plays out,” Schefter said. “If Stephen Ross does, in fact, get what he wants and exerts his will and says ‘we want this guy.’”
The Dolphins have gone to great lengths to deny interest in Tannehill. Fins general manager Jeff Ireland has gone on national shows to deny interest and Ross himself sent out emails saying he was not influencing the decision making process of Ireland.
Tuesday evening, even new head coach Joe Philbin deflected while talking about the prospect of bringing Tannehill into the team.
“We’ve talked obviously a lot,” Philbin said of talking Tannehill with coach Mike Sherman. “We’ve had draft meetings. We’ve discussed him as an individual. We watched his film. Obviously, Mike has been around Ryan for a long, long time, but it’s not like we’ve sat around and said, ‘ok, what about him at eight.’”
Philbin continued, “And again, you have to remember a coach doesn’t have the same perspective on a draft that a general manager has…We wathc guys sometimes as coaches, we are guilty of falling in love with guys a little bit too fast, so we haven’t had any discussions about where he should go. But certainly, he’s a resource when you’re due diligence on prospects, you want as much information as you can get and so we’ve asked him [Sherman] some questions about him [Tannehill].”
Reading between the lines of what Ross and Ireland have been so vociferously denying isn’t that they want to draft Tannehill. It’s only been a denial that Ross is influencing Ireland to draft Tannehill. Even Philbin’s quotes don’t deny the team has been doing plenty of digging on Tannehill.
What it could come down to is whether or not Coach Mike Sherman is willing to go to bat for Tannehill and say the Dolphins should draft him at number eight. Philbin said they haven’t discussed it, but that’s a smoke screen as team officials discuss a lot of picks in the last few days leading up to the draft.
Schefter did say in his report that the other player the Dolphins could be interested in is North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples. The former Tar Heel drew criticism for his statistical decline last season, but he was also playing out of position at defensive tackle.
Coples would join Cameron Wake and form arguably one of the better pass rushing tandems in the AFC East if Coples is properly motivated at defensive end. Coples stands 6’6” and weighs roughly 285 pounds and ran a 4.7 40-yard-dash.