2012 Rookie QBs: Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
By Matt Waldman
Posted July 15th, 2012

Strengths: Tannehill has enough arm strength and accuracy to develop into an upper echelon pro passer. He can deliver the ball over the top or with a three-quarter motion. As a passer he is capable of generating good velocity, pinpoint accuracy, and strong anticipation and timing. In the pocket, Tannehill will go through multiple reads and throw the ball with good form and footwork with 3-, 5-, and 7-step drops. He shows no fear of targeting players that are covered by college standards, but open in the NFL game. What stands out with Tannehill is his pocket presence. He senses pressure and does a good job of sliding away from pressure either from the outside or up the middle. While he's eluding pressure, Tannehill keeps his eyes downfield and his body square to the line of scrimmage to deliver the ball after resetting his feet. He does the same when he's on the move.

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Weaknesses: Tannehill has controlled aggression with the most of his attempts, but he can get impulsive and reckless when he feels pressure in the pocket. He'll try to squeeze sideline throws that are ill advised because defenders are hanging off him. He has to learn to throw the ball away or take the sack in situations where his team can punt. While he can throw the ball over 40 yards with good velocity, he doesn't have the deepest range with his arm and lacks that rare arm that a player like Griffin or Matthew Stafford owns.

2012 Outlook: It would probably be best for the Dolphins to show some restraint with Tannehill and sit him for a year. Of course, it's far more likely that he'll play early and survive his first season in the NFL, but the results won't be pretty because there's lack of top-end receiving talent across the board on the Miami depth chart. If Tannehill had a player of A.J. Green's skills on the outside, an Andy Dalton-like year could be possible - Tannehill is not nearly as raw as many characterize. However with the Dolphins' limitations, he'll have similar stats to Christian Ponder's 2011 rookie season with the Vikings.

Dynasty Outlook: Purely for the perspective of viewing Tannehill outside of his environment, the quarterback is actually one of the safest prospects in this class of passers despite his inexperience. All of the things he already does well are tough to teach. The fact that Tannehill came to Texas A&M to play quarterback and never outwardly faltered in his belief that he was the best on the roster is a telling indicator of his confidence, and that's a good indication that he'll handle the trials that lie ahead for him in the NFL with poise, determination, and a work ethic. He's going to need better receivers than he has right now, but the Dolphins will work to fortify the roster moving forward.

NFL Comparison: Tannehill reminds of Boomer Esiason, the former Bengals star who had solid athleticism, delivered the ball with a three-quarter stroke and worked well from the pocket. Matt Hasselbeck is also a solid comparison, but Tannehill has more upside to become a top-end fantasy producer, which is why Esiason invokes a closer point of comparison for the rookie's potential.

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