Every two days, Rishi Pochiraju will reveal a quarterback on his grand list of quarterback rankings. Each quarterback will receive a grade out of 50 – 10 points for each category. See his page for earlier ranked quarterbacks. Up next: number 21.
#21. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
Dolphins starting quarterback had an up-and-down season last year. His team finished 7-9, good enough for second place in a weak division. Tannehill is the unquestioned starter and leader of his South Florida team which has big expectations heading into 2013 (I actually picked them to win the AFC East).
Tannehill arrived in Miami in 2012, so this year will be his second in the league. He entered the league already knowing about 70 percent of the Dolphins’ playbook – his college head coach, Mike Sherman, became Miami’s offensive coordinator in 2012.
Tannehill is bound for a big year along with his team, which added multiple key pieces through the draft and free agency. Mike Wallace should help Tannehill’s production and can possibly give him a legitimate number one target to work with. The outlook is positive for Tannehill and his team in 2013.
Physical traits and athleticism
Listed at 6-4, 222 pounds, Tannehill possesses perfect size for the position. This helped him stand strong in the pocket last season. Although he’s not one of the fastest quarterbacks in the league, he has speed that compares to that of Aaron Rodgers – Tannehill can use his speed to pick up first downs multiple times a game. Head Coach Joe Philbin and Offensive Coordinator Mike Sherman might even attempt to incorporate elements of the zone-read option into the game plan. Grade: 7.5/10
Tannehill has an exceptional arm and is able to stretch the ball down the field with a very strong trigger. As new receiver Mike Wallace put it, Tannehill has a “cannon” for an arm. He is capable of making every throw on the field, although at times, he relies too much on natural arm talent. Despite that, his arm can take him a long way in terms of his development as a quarterback. Grade: 7.5/10
Tannehill stands strong in the pocket and delivers the ball at a good angle. His release is not the fastest, but the ball often gets to its target on time. When his mechanics get sloppy, his play is inconsistent. However, his footwork is mostly on point and does a good job stepping into throws and making the most out of throws from an awkward delivery. Grade: 7/10
Tannehill is a smart quarterback who is capable of changing plays at the line of scrimmage after observing what defenses will possibly throw at him. He did struggle at times last year with recognizing some of the exotic schemes and blitz packages, but it is only something he will improve upon looking forward to this season. Grade: 7/10
It is obvious that Tannehill is a hard-working quarterback – after all, he only played quarterback for a year and a half at Texas A&M after making the switch from receiver. He is a positive leader who embraces competition and will bring out the best in the players around him. He did so with his receiving corps last year. Grade: 8/10
I expect Ryan Tannehill to evolve into a solid, if not stud, quarterback over the course of this season. He is a capable leader of the team who can make any throw required. If all said is done, Tannehill, in my mind, will be much better than the 21st ranked quarterback in the league. Overall Grade: 36.5/50