It has become the worst-kept secret in the NFL that the Miami Dolphins are intrigued with the possibility of drafting Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the eighth overall pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday. Now the Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to parlay that fact into a deal to trade the seventh overall pick to a team that wants the passer even more.
"People know Miami's going to take (Tannehill)," Jaguars director of player personnel Terry McDonough said Tuesday. "If a team wants a quarterback, they're going to have to come in front of Miami."
What he didn't say (but is immediately obvious) is that Jacksonville drafts seventh on Thursday, right in front of Miami, and the Jags would love to trade that pick in exchange for more picks. Not wanting to wait until draft night to make a deal, McDonough thinks some old-fashioned arm-twisting could compel another team to make a deal before the start of the draft.
The Dolphins have needed a quarterback ever since Dan Marino retired in 2000, and have done little to help their plight this offseason. A push to sign Peyton Manning as a free agent failed, and the team opted not to offer Matt Flynn a better deal than he received from the Seattle Seahawks. Miami did sign David Garrard to a free agent deal, but he is seen as a stopgap measure at best.
New Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman coached Tannehill at Texas A&M, which has only increased the speculation that general manager Jeff Ireland will select him with the eighth pick on Thursday.
McDonough's gambit still might not work, though. With the fourth pick in the draft (and a hole at quarterback), the Cleveland Browns could also take a chance on Tannehill.
There is also the chance that the Dolphins would rather take a more proven prospect with the eighth pick than make a gamble on Tannehill, who has started 19 games at Texas A&M and had started college as a wide receiver.
Usually, teams trying to make a deal before the draft will send more subtle signals about the draft intentions of other teams. It may well have been the Jaguars pushing the rumor earlier this week that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is pressuring his staff to draft Tannehill.
But it's clear that the Jags are getting desperate to trade out of their seventh pick, and McDonough's blatant effort still may not yield Jacksonville any trade offers.