With the top two quarterbacks in the 2012 rookie class destined to be the first two picks in the 2012 draft (barring something entirely unexpected in the next six days), the player to whom the most uncertainty and intrigue attaches for round one is Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
He could go anywhere from No. 3 (if the Vikings trade down) to No. 15 (if the Eagles take him or trade down). Seahawks G.M. John Schneider recently has said he expects Tannehill to be gone by the time Seattle exercises the 12th pick in the draft. However, there’s one specific factor that could push Tannehill out of the top 10.
Under the new CBA, a team may sign its first-round pick to a four-year contract with an option for a fifth year. The salary for the fifth year is based on a formula that hinges on whether the player is picked in the top 10 or the next 22.
For the top 10, the salary is determined by calculating the average of the 10 highest-paid players at the pick’s position in the prior season. For the next 22, the number is determined by calculating the average salary of the third-highest paid player at the position through the 25th highest paid player at the position in the prior season.