Miami Dolphins: Why Ryan Tannehill Will Become an Elite Quarterback

Joseph ZapataContributor IIIJuly 1, 2014

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) throws the football during team warm-ups before an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

If the Miami Dolphins want to finally take over the AFC East, they'll need their quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, to take the next step in his career. He's only been in the league for two seasons, but the young signal-caller has shown the potential to become a top-10 quarterback.  

Not only does Tannehill have the arm to make all the throws, but he can run, too. Back in college at Texas A&M, Tannehill started out as a wide receiver. As seen in the GIF below, Tannehill has enough speed to hurt his opponents.

Although he had no major offensive weapons, Tannehill was still productive. During his rookie campaign, his receiving corps consisted of Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Rishard Matthews and Marlon Moore.  

Even with these mediocre targets, Tannehill ended the season with a quarterback rating of 50.4, which is right around the league average, according to ESPN.  

In 2013, the Dolphins' problem was their offensive line. Even though Tannehill was sacked a league-high 58 times, he still managed to lead his team to a respectable 8-8 record.  

Tannehill has already created a buzz during OTAs with his development:  

Philbin on Ryan Tannehill: "I think his understanding and knowledge of the system is very good...I'm pleased with his development."

— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) June 17, 2014

Many writers and analysts have also noticed that Tannehill has matured as a leader:  

#Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill chews out WRs, but teammates like his new role as vocal leader

— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonPBP) June 17, 2014

After adding Branden Albert, Ja'Wuan James and Billy Turner to their offensive line, Tannehill will finally have the protection he needs in order to succeed.  

The Dolphins also helped their receiving corps by selecting Jarvis Landry in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft.  During OTAs Tannehill praised the rookie wideout:  

Tannehill says Jarvis Landry has some of the "strongest hands" he's ever seen on a receiver

— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonPBP) June 17, 2014

Not only has Tannehill shown progress during his first two NFL seasons, he's also shown the ability to step up in big moments.  

In Week 3 of last season, the Dolphins were trailing by three points to the Atlanta Falcons with under a minute left in the fourth quarter, when Tannehill threw the game-winning touchdown to tight end Dion Sims, as seen in the GIF below.  


With a solid offensive line, a good receiving corps and the clutch gene, Tannehill is ready to become an elite NFL quarterback.


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