“With the eighth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select, Ryan Tannehill, quarterback, Texas A&M.” (Roger Goodell) While the mixed reactions of boos and cheers rang throughout Radio City Music Hall, the Miami Dolphins war room was nothing but cheers. Other than Chad Pennington, the Dolphins haven’t really had a quarterback to get enthusiastic about since Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino retired. Despite the long drought of mediocre play at the quarterback position, the Dolphins were still a team that always seemed to be right on the verge of a playoff appearance. Throughout the non-Marino years, the Dolphins transformed into a ground and pound team, that always finished in the top ten defensively. With the Dolphins completely transforming over the past decade, fans throughout the Dolphin nation always missed having a real, step back pocket passer.
When the Miami Dolphins drafted Ryan Tannehill two years ago, hope was once again restored throughout the Dolphin fan base. During the rich history of this franchise, prior to drafting Tannehill eighth overall, the Miami Dolphins have only drafted three quarterbacks in the first round. With Tannehill being drafted in the first round, he has joined the likes of Hall of Fame quarterbacks Dan Marino and Bob Griese.
In my opinion, Tannehill’s first NFL season was definitely simplified. Unlike the more successful rookie quarterbacks such as Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson, Tannehill’s first season was without a doubt a learning season. In his first season with the Miami Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill didn’t exactly have weapons lined up on the outside. With no real star wide-out on this team, Tannehill found himself struggling at times. Despite the fact that outside of Reggie Bush, he didn’t really have any weapons, Tannehill still had a very efficient rookie season. Tannehill completed almost 60% of his passes, while throwing for 3,300 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Although Tannehill wasn’t the best rookie quarterback in the NFL last season, there are still many positives that you can take away from it, if you compare him to Griffin, Luck or Wilson. For example, Ryan Tannehill’s Passer Rating was 76.1, while Andrew Luck’s was 76.5. Many people believe that Andrew Luck was the most successful rookie quarterback last season, just because of the fact that he was put in a really bad situation and quickly made a well below average team a contender. If you look at their efficiency, Luck wasn’t that much better than Tannehill. Tannehill also threw for a higher completion percentage than Luck and also had fewer turnovers.
Now it’s time to compare Tannehill to Robert Griffin III. Before I compare, I just want to say that RGIII was the best rookie quarterback last season. Although there isn’t much to compare between the two, Tannehill did throw for more yards than Griffin last season. Even though Tannehill threw for more yards, the two really didn’t come close, as RGIII blew Tannehill out of the water in just about every statistic last season.
Last but not least, Russell Wilson. Coming into last season, Wilson wasn’t even supposed to be the starter. Unlike Tannehill, Luck and Griffin, Wilson wasn’t drafted until the third round. After watching Wilson play at such a high level last season, I am now a firm believer that where you are drafted doesn’t make a difference. As I grow older and continue to mature, I am starting to understand the game of football more. It isn’t about your position being drafted or the amount of money you signed for over the offseason. It’s about whether or not you can play. If you can play, you will always have that one coach that believes in you. Before I continue to go off track, let’s get back to what I was talking about; comparisons. Last season Tannehill threw for more yards than Wilson. Much like Griffin, Wilson beat out Tannehill statistics wise.
Now let’s take a look at their teams. Andrew Luck had a Hall of Famer that he could always rely on in case he needed him with Reggie Wayne. Russell Wilson had players such as Sidney Rice, Golden Tate one of the best running backs in the league, Marshawn Lynch and the number one ranked defense. Out of all of these quarterbacks Robert Griffin probably had the most weapons offensively. Last season the Redskins had Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Pierre Garcon, and one of the leading rushers, Alfred Morris. Unlike these quarterbacks, Tannehill had Brian Hartline and Reggie Bush. Throughout his career, Hartline has never been a go to receiver and Reggie Bush. Did I forget to mention that the Dolphins had arguably one of the worst offensive lines in the league last season?