Breakout Candidate: Can Ryan Tannehill Rise To QB1 Status In 2014?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Ryan Tannehill actually had a surprisingly successful season in 2013 when you look at the pure numbers:

355 completions (60.4% completion percentage)
3,913 yards
24 TD
17 INT
238 rushing yards
1 rushing TD

That placed him 10th in the league in passing yards, ahead of Russell Wilson, Eli Manning, Colin Kaepernick and a host of others. He was seventh in the league in attempts and 11th in completions.

Can we safely expect the Dolphins to continue putting the ball in his hands? They should run the ball a little bit more this season, but that may actually help Tannehill more than hurt him.

The addition of Knowshon Moreno is going to help keep defenses honest. No longer can they simply key in on Tannehill and the passing game, as they did last season as Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas failed to impress.  Maybe the attempts do come down a little bit, but there’s a good chance he becomes more efficient with them.

A year of experience with Mike Wallace should help in that regard. Wallace was targeted 142 times last season, yet managed just 73 receptions. You take that out of the mix and his completion percentage jumps to 63.2%, which alone would’ve pushed him just outside the Top 10 for 2013.

The extra experience and familiarity should work wonders. The team also has potential play makers in Charles Clay at tight end and Brian Hartline at receiver. Brandon Gibson could also take a step forward in his second season in Miami, like Wallace, while Moreno also proved to be a significant threat out of the backfield last season (though he’s not going to catch 60 passes away from Peyton Manning).  In other words there is going to be the ability to make some plays.

The other improvement should come in the offensive line, which was an absolute mess last season. It would be shocking if they didn’t try to improve it in the draft and also made a major splash by signing Brandon Albert away from Kansas City.

Is Tannehill a QB1 entering the season? Absolutely not, but he should be drafted as a higher level QB2 with upside. He quietly impressed last season and with the improvements the team made, as well as a little more experience, we can only think things will improve further.

He’s an ideal candidate to really breakout in 2014 and a player well worth owning.

Source – ESPN

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