DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins finally used a first-round pick on a quarterback Thursday, taking Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill with the eighth choice in the NFL draft.
Tannehill became the first QB selected in the opening round by the Dolphins since 1983, when they drafted Dan Marino.
Tannehill might have been a reach at No. 8. He started just 19 games in college after switching from receiver to quarterback, and last year he went only 1-4 against Top 25 teams.
But the 6-foot-4, 222-pound Tannehill received favorable reviews from his college coach was Mike Sherman, the Dolphins' new offensive coordinator.
Miami fans were clamoring for a quarterback, and owner Stephen Ross said upgrading the position was the team's top priority. The Dolphins unsuccessfully courted Peyton Manning last month.
Since Marino retired following the 1999 season, they've started 16 quarterbacks, the most in the NFL. The incumbent is veteran Matt Moore, who exceeded expectations starting the final 12 games last year.
Moore and veteran newcomer David Garrard are expected to compete for the starting job this year, which will give new coach Joe Philbin time to groom Tannehill for the job. The Dolphins are trying to rebound from a 6-10 season, their third consecutive losing year.
Tannehill was the third quarterback drafted. Indianapolis took Andrew Luck with the first pick, and Washington took Robert Griffin III with the second choice.
Tannehill was at the draft in New York when his name was announced, and within 30 seconds he was wearing a Dolphins cap. Chomping on gum, on walked onto the stage and shared a hug with Commissioner Roger Goodell, who handed him a Dolphins jersey bearing No. 1.