NFL 2012: a banner year for rookie quarterbacks

Encouraged by the success of Carolina’s Cam Newton and Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton last season, five teams hand the offensive controls to five players fresh out of the college ranks.

3. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

  • close
    In this Aug. 17 file photo, Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) prepares to throw a pass against the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C.
    Chuck Burton/AP/File
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

Drafted: #8 overall (in first round)

Pro status: starter

College team: Texas A&M

6 ft. 4 in., 221 lbs.

Hometown:  Big Spring, Texas

QB rating in preseason: 66.9

Tannehill is the first rookie in franchise history to start a season opener. Yes, that’s right, neither Dan Marino nor Bob Griese achieved that distinction. Picking Tannehill is surely the single most important decision new coach Joe Philbin has made, and the hope is Tannehill will finally bring stability to the position, which has been a revolving door for the Dolphins ever since Marino retired after the 1999 season. Since then the team has had more starting quarterbacks (17) than any other NFL team. Tannehill transitioned from receiver to quarterback at Texas A&M, where he completed 65 percent of his passes, a school record. Now, he gets a chance to work again with his former college coach, Mike Sherman, who is Miami’s offensive coordinator. Like several of this year’s class of rookie quarterbacks, Tannehill was an excellent student. He made the All-Big 12 Conference academic team while earning a 3.60 grade-point average in biology. Eventually he hopes to attend medical school and become an orthopedic surgeon.

3 of 14