Why Ryan Tannehill Is Most Promising Rookie in 2012 QB Class

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 23:  Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins passes against the New York Jets at Sun Life Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill may not have started his career with a bang, but he is without a doubt the most promising rookie in the 2012 NFL draft class at his position. 

The Dolphins received nearly universal criticism for selecting the Texas A&M product with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, but the Dolphins may get the last laugh. 

Tannehill has not lit the world on fire just yet, having thrown for 1,046 yards, two touchdowns and six interceptions in four contests while leading the Dolphins to a 1-3 record and the bottom rung of the AFC East ladder. 

None of the above should be a surprise given the fact Tannehill is still relatively new to the position, was thrown to the wolves instead of learning from the bench and the putrid amount of talent surrounding him. 

Things look bad now, but Tannehill is the most promising rookie quarterback. Here's why. 



Tannehill's main competition in the class are the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks in the draft, Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts and Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins

As of now, Tannehill is the more promising quarterback because of his surroundings. Luck has zero help in Indianapolis, so his development could be stunted. It's going to be five or six years before he has an elite team around him, and that 's only if they build the roster perfectly. 

For RGIII, the Redskins have a more talented roster than the Dolphins currently, but that may not last. The Dolphins are a younger team and have a more attractive location for free agents. 

Tannehill has an elite running back in Reggie Bush and an above-average, young offensive line. The defense is a swarming young unit that could eventually develop to the point that Tannehill will always be playing with a lead. 

It also helps Tannehill that he has a strong history with his offensive coordinator, Mike Sherman. The offense is being built around Tannehill in Miami, and he will benefit from it drastically. 



What makes Tannehill the most promising quarterback in his class is the fact that he is simply oozing with untapped potential. 

A converted wide receiver, Tannehill has taken over a professional offense while still learning the position—and he has not played horribly. 

Standing at 6'4" and 220 pounds, Tannehill has all the physical intangibles down. It is only a matter of time and experience before we see the best Tannehill has to offer. 

Whereas Tannehill is an unknown, we already know what we are getting from RGIII and Luck. RGIII can improve, but we know what he is capable of at this point. 

The same can be said with Luck, who may have already hit his ceiling as a professional considering he already had NFL-caliber coaching at Stanford under John Harabaugh. 

Tannehill is still an unknown, and that is both exciting and scary. 


Moving Forward

Tannehill could turn out to be a bust, but as of now, he is easily the most promising quarterback in the class. 

With the proper coaching, the Dolphins staff could turn Tannehill into one of the best quarterbacks in the league. It sounds ridiculous, but crazier things have happened at the position in the past. 

While Luck and RGIII will be around for quite some time as above-average NFL quarterbacks or better, Tannehill could surpass both. 

Tannehill has the best potential in the class at his position. How that translates over a developmental period remains to be seen.