Well, when you’re heralded as the savior of a franchise before you even take a snap, it’s fair to say that expectations are set pretty high. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill had the eyes of every Dolphin fan on him from the moment he was selected with the number eight overall pick. With that in mind, he had a decent rookie season. There were highs and lows, but in the end he showed enough to leave fans wanting to see more.
Nationally, Tannehill often gets overlooked when talking about the 2012 rookie quarterback class. With the profound successes of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russel Wilson this year, Tannehill’s season gets lost. Honestly, Tannehill’s season isn’t comparable to many of his rookie contemporaries. Luck, Griffin and even Wilson all entered the year with a higher level of polish than Tannehill and an argument could be made that Tannehill started for the team with the weakest roster. That’s not to say that Tannehill had a poor season and it isn’t making excuses for his struggles, but the lack of talent around Ryan Tannehill shouldn’t be ignored.
When you take Ryan Tannehill out of the context of his draft class, his numbers are respectable. He threw for nearly 3,300 yards, 12 touchdowns along with thirteen interceptions and he ran for 211 yards. He ended the season with a quarterback rating of just 76.1, but if he throws more touchdowns that rating will go up. His rookie numbers are eerily similar to numbers put up by Joe Flacco and Chad Henne in their first years as starters. Those two may represent different trajectories Tannehill could be heading. Let’s hope he improves the way Flacco did and doesn’t stagnate like Henne.
By now, it’s common knowledge that Ryan Tannehill only started 19 games in college. This off-season he has plenty of room for growth. He has shown enough to excite the Dolphin fan base, despite being overshadowed by other rookie QBs. During his best games, he showed a strong arm that could hit his targets accurately and protect the ball. He rarely repeated mistakes. In his worst games, he was inaccurate and made mistakes that led to turn overs. Usually with a young QB you take the good with the bad. That’s what we will do this year and hope for tangible signs of improvement in 2013.
Ryan Tannehill’s 2012 grade: B -