While Ryan Tannehill saw a drop in his numbers last season in comparison to 2014 such as completion percentage, touchdown passes and passer rating, the numbers did not decrease greatly. At the same time, he did see an increase in other numbers such as passing yards from 4,045 in 2014 to 4,208 in 2015. Tannehill has improved since he entered the NFL, therefore because he has continued to improve he earns a second place ranking among quarterbacks in the AFC East going into 2016…behind Tom Brady and ahead of Tyrod Taylor (3rd) and Geno Smith (4th – assuming he starts in 2016).
While Ryan Tannehill did see a drop in some stats from 2014 to 2015, it is not all his fault. He was sacked 45 times in 2015 behind an offensive line that struggled to give him much protection, so it is impressive that he was still able to put up over 4,000 yards passing. Tannehill had a rough start to the 2015 season throwing 9 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in the first five games. However, following that stretch he managed to throw 15 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions and really only having one bad game during that time when he threw 2 interceptions and no touchdowns against the Patriots.
Aside from Tannehill’s growth you have to look at the other quarterbacks in the division. Tom Brady has been consistently good (some say elite) since starting in the NFL. Then when looking at Tyrod Taylor, despite having a good season for the Bills, it was just one season and to rank him ahead of Ryan would be tough based on that alone. In 4th there is Geno Smith, who has had a roller-coaster career and only played in one game last season for the Jets in relief of Ryan Fitzpatrick who got hurt against the Raiders and Geno had to finish the game.
Tannehill can hold onto that number two spot in the AFC East and continue to grow as long as the offensive line improves. He will also have Adam Gase as his head coach who helped Jay Cutler improve in just one season and Miami drafted a tackle in the first round to give Ryan Tannehill more protection which can also help him hold onto the number two spot. With improvements on the offensive line and also on defense the Dolphins can put Ryan Tannehill in a better position to succeed and help mold him into the franchise quarterback he is being paid to be.