The numbers aren't particularly kind to Ryan Tannehill halfway through his rookie season with the Miami Dolphins.
After losing Sunday's shootout with Andrew Luck, Tannehill still ranks just 27th in passer efficiency rating. Those behind him -- Michael Vick, Cam Newton, Mark Sanchez, Matt Cassel, Brandon Weeden and John Skelton -- are dealing with weekly criticism of varying volume and intensity.
Just two semi-starting quarterbacks have thrown fewer touchdown passes than the five Tannehill has managed this far. Those are the Titans' Jake Locker, who has thrown four TDs in 106 attempts; and the Cardinals' John Skelton (two in 172 attempts).
And yet, Tannehill has shown enough flashes to excite not just long-suffering Dolphins fans (and media), but even hardened former NFL executives like Bill Polian.
Now working for ESPN, Polian listed Tannehill among his 11 "breakout blues," meaning young players who had shown enough to be considered emerging stars.
"Tannehill was a question mark right up to the draft," Polian wrote. "He had a fair share of supporters and detractors, but what we saw as a collegian we're seeing from him again as a pro. His composure has been great early on and [he] has played very well without the benefit of a particularly good receiving corps.
"That just tells you even more about how good a QB he already is and what he could be down the line. Additionally, the accuracy, the arm strength … the physical tools are all there, and he's been able to process decisions under fire."
Polian, who built championship-level teams with the Colts, Panthers and Bills and reportedly wants to find a fresh front-office challenge, also listed DE J.J. Watt (Texans), Luck, QB Robert Griffin III (Redskins), WR Julio Jones (Falcons), CB Morris Claiborne (Cowboys), DE Jabaal Sheard (Browns), LB Curtis Lofton (Saints), CB Ladarius Webb (Ravens), WR Percy Harvin (Vikings) and RB Doug Martin (Bucs) on his 11-deep list of "breakout blues."
That Tannehill is one of just three quarterbacks listed should make Dolphins fans feel pretty good about the pick -- and the future -- no matter what the numbers say.
Polian obviously knows his stuff.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times