Former Cowboys superscout Gil Brandt isn’t sure Laremy Tunsil will make instant impact

 

I’m guessing that Gil Brandt, 83, probably couldn’t have thought of many uses for a gas mask during his college days at the University of Wisconsin.

Not even as a self-preservation device to be used during Vietnam protests rocked with tear gas, since Brandt finished up with school long before any of that unrest hit U.S. campuses.

Gil Brandt, left, former Dallas Cowboys vice president of player personnel, signs autographs with former Cowboys defensive back Cliff Harris, right, during a 2015 Texas Sports Hall of Fame induction class event, Thursday, April 9, 2015, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Rod Aydelotte)

Gil Brandt, left, former Dallas Cowboys vice president of player personnel, signs autographs with former Cowboys defensive back Cliff Harris, right, during a 2015 Texas Sports Hall of Fame induction class event in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Rod Aydelotte)

With that in mind, it’s easier to figure why the former Dallas Cowboys superscout might leave Laremy Tunsil off his list of instant-impact rookies from the 2016 NFL draft. In a column written for NFL.com, the Miami Dolphins’ first-round draft pick didn’t make Brandt’s top 11, though he did qualify under the category of “also considered.”

That’s a backhanded compliment at best for a bruising offensive tackle once considered the best player available in the draft. Matter of fact, the Dolphins still consider Tunsil to be pretty close to that. They were thrilled to get the kid with the 13th overall pick, draft-night bong video and all.

Can’t blame Brandt, though, for a judgment that is generational in nature. He’s always been great with me during Super Bowl media sessions. Thoughtful and kind. Truth is, his opinions are better than most because they’re not based solely on a data stream of physical measurements and analytics.

If he doesn’t trust Tunsil enough to project him as a Day 1 starter for Miami, it’s probably because Brandt doesn’t get the guy at all, what he’s thinking, what he’s willing to risk, what, if anything, will make him a great teammate and not just a great athlete.

Anybody who says that kind of skepticism is dead wrong is viewing this thing in the most convenient light. It’s wanting the Dolphins to win. It’s dismissing any other outcome as irrational.

As for Dolphins coach Adam Gase and general manager Chris Grier, each of whom felt comfortable with Tunsil’s immature decisions as a college student, Brandt is old enough to be a grandfather to each of them. They probably would disagree on a lot of things.

[Only Phil Jackson has a better career playoff win percentage than Spoelstra]

[First-ever NFL draft pick in 1936 chose foam-rubber sales job instead]

[10 years after Heat’s first title team, Wade and Haslem still driving hard]

For now, let’s take a look at Gil’s list and file it away for later examination, in October or so.

You’ll notice that five of the 11 players he names weren’t taken in the first round. He’s looking at particular situations and particular teams, but he’s also looking at what players have told us about themselves already. With all the guessing that goes on this time of year, there’s a lot of straightforward information that experts and fans alike just choose to ignore.

 

Gil Brandt’s alphabetical list of 2016 draftees most likely to make immediate impacts

Roberto Aguayo             K     Tampa Bay           2nd rd

Corey Coleman               WR   Cleveland          1st rd

Ezekiel Elliott                  RB     Dallas                1st rd

Tyler Ervin                        RB     Houston           4th rd

Joshua Garnett                G     San Francisco     1st rd

Temarrick Hemingway   TE     Los Angeles      6th rd

Ryan Kelly                          C     Indianapolis      1st rd

Braxton Miller                   WR Houston             3rd rd

Keanu Neal                           S   Atlanta               1st rd

Reggie Ragland                   LB   Buffalo              2nd rd

Laquon Treadwell             WR  Minnesota         1st rd