The ONLY FACT WE KNOW is that Ireland is the GM. The GM is responsible for drafting. Ryan Tannehill was drafted.
See the part in bold?
First: the Teflon Jeff supporters make an argument that wasn't the case when Parcells was in the building. If true, then this clearly isn't always the case. If not true, then Teflon Jeff deserves to be criticized for the significant failures in the first 3 years of his tenure.
Second, and more significantly, is Ireland himself saying the following:
"Steve [Ross] is very engaged, but he's also very supportive in leaving the decisions to the draft up to me, and coach (Joe) Philbin, and our scouts and football staff," Ireland told PFT Live on Monday. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8 ... ball-staff
Let's get something out of the way: in the 2012 draft, Ireland HIMSELF says the draft decisions were a consensus effort. Ergo your assumption that the GM is responsible for drafting was not 100% the case in the 2012 draft.
Third, having established that Ireland did not make draft decisions by himself in 2012, what we don't know is which voice had the greatest power in making a decision out of the group Ireland lists. Was it Ireland? Or was it Philbin? *Plenty* of head coaches have significant say in the draft, some have final say (see Jeff Fisher). Neither Teflon Jeff supporters or detractors know who had the biggest say in the draft. BUT - Philbin is the new guy, with a new system, one that Ireland has NEVER been associated with (fact), and Ireland just survived three straight losing seasons with the last head coach getting fired (fact). In the event the final say was with Ireland - if Philbin *really* wanted Tannehill does anyone honestly think Teflon Jeff would dare draft someone different? We have a quote from Teflon Jeff's friend Gil Brandt saying Teflon Jeff wasn't high on Tannehill in Jan, but later - after Philbin and Sherman was hired - Teflon Jeff asked Brandt if he had recommended Tannehill to anyone else. If one uses powers of deduction (I know, certain people seem afraid to do this) - the offensive coordinator, Tannehill's college Head Coach, emphasized Tannehill had the goods. I don't doubt Teflon Jeff and the scouts did their own assessment to verify - they wouldn't be doing their jobs if they didn't. But without Sherman and Philbin pulling for Tannehill, there's no way he's the pick at #8.
I'll go a step further. Imagine Sherman said Tannehill didn't have what it takes. Does anyone believe Tannehill would have been the pick at #8 without his endorsement, no matter what Ireland and the scouts thought?
Beyond Tannehill I believe 2012 was still a group effort identifying players who would fit the new offensive and defensive systems. It is reasonable to deduct that Philbin and the coaches had heavy input into the draft. That doesn't mean Teflon Jeff didn't have any input - I'm sure he worked along side of the coaches to evaluate the players and participated in the decisions.
To that end, based on Ireland's direct quote above, the 2012 draft was a collaborative process.
So, drafting without Philbin: questionable to bad.
Drafting with Philbin: better.
Coaching with Philbin: better.
Philbin's the guy (unless things go south in a hurry).
There is no doubt in my mind that Sherman and Philbin exposed Jeff to Tannehill. The bottom line is he still pulled the trigger.. And I'm fine with your rationale. I am not fine with this conspiracy that Ross made Ireland draft Tannehill. Because nothing you or anyone said provides any argument for that. Which is exactly the point I was trying to make originally. Any smart GM would listen to the inside knowledge of his staff. Be it scouts or coaches. Ireland's quote about Ross clearly says leaving the draft decisions to me. ASSUMING he is being honest...(hooray more speculation) Any IDIOT of a GM would listen to his owner. But, as Jeff said in that quote himself. Ultimately it's up to him. So otherwise.. It's speculation without much merit. What DOES hold merit is what you said about Philbin and Sherman influencing Ireland. I'll definitely buy that.