One of the interesting stories on the first night of the NFL Draft was always going to be where Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill was selected. Tannehill, who played receiver for some of his career with the Aggies, saw his draft stock skyrocket thanks in part to a big performance at his pro day.
With the top two quarterbacks in the draft off the board after the top two overall picks, Tannehill wound up going at No. 8 to the Miami Dolphins. Tannehill joins Bob Griese and Dan Marino as the only quarterbacks ever selected in the first round by the Dolphins, giving him some big shoes to fill.
Morris Claiborne, Mark Barron, Ryan Tannehill and Stephon Gillmore joined Westwood One with Scott Graham to discuss if they were picked by the teams they thought would draft them, draft week, the situations they’ve landed in, rising draft stocks and being drafted in the top 10.
Morris Claiborne on Dallas coming out of nowhere to get him:
“It was such a surprise. I had never seen this coming in a million years. I just can’t explain the feeling that I have right now. I’m so excited. … I envisioned [playing for the Cowboys] when I was way younger because everyone in my house is a Cowboys fan. When I got the call, I got so excited because I looked at their faces because they were like, ‘Oh my God.’ It was just amazing when they called my name. Everything just got real.”
Claiborne on trying not to watch and read about the draft all week:
“All during the week, I tried my best to just stay away from ESPN. I was watching so much of the Disney Channel, I think I’m part of Disney now.”
Claiborne on playing against Eli Manning, Michael Vick and now Robert Griffin III in the NFC East:
“I feel like if I can come in and get acclimated to the system and just continue to work — don’t lose that work ethic that I have and just keep going hard and keep grinding each and every day [I can have success].”
Mark Barron on what he was thinking as all the trades were happening:
“Honestly, I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know what was going to happen; I didn’t know where I was going to end up. I was pleasantly surprised by the pick.”
Barron on a night full of draft picks from Alabama:
“I think that speaks a lot about the program that we come from. We work hard and we kind of run like an NFL-type system — everything from on the field to off the field. I think that’ll make the transition easier for us and I think that’s a big reason why we have so many guys here.”
Ryan Tannehill on if he thought he would be picked by Miami at No. 8:
“I really had no idea what to expect coming in. You hear all the rumors, but I really did not know where I was going to go. I didn’t know if I was going to go before eight or slip all the way down to the late first. I’m so excited to be a part of the Miami Dolphins.”
Tannehill on the feelings he got as he watched his draft stock rise:
“For sure [it was exciting]. You start this process and obviously you want to maximize your draft stock as much as you can. I felt like I did as much as I could throughout the process and to see results from that, to see me moving up the draft board is really exciting.”
Tannehill on his role in contributing to the resurgence of the Dolphins:
“I’m excited to go down and join the team. They’ve been working out and getting to the playbook, I think, the past few weeks with the new coaching staff. So I’m excited to get down to Florida, learn from the veteran guys on the team and get on the field and get to know the offense.”
Stephon Gilmore on being picked No. 10 overall by the Bills:
“I was thinking that they were going to pick me. They liked me on my visit. It’s a blessing. I’ve just been working hard. They believe in my talent and I want to go in and compete and try to make plays to help my team win.”
Gilmore on fulfilling a dream of being a top-10 overall pick:
“It feels good. All the hard work you have done to this point, it just feels good inside knowing that you’re the 10th-best player in this draft class. It just feels good. There’s a lot of great players in this draft.”