What You Need to Know:
- Tannehill missed the entire 2017 season with a torn left ACL.
- When Tannehill suits up for Week 1, he'll be 637 days removed from his last NFL pass.
- In his 1st season with Adam Gase (2016), Tannehill set career highs with 7.7 YPA and a 67.1% completion rate. Yet he averaged just 233.5 yards and 1.5 TDs per game across 12 full games -- QB2 totals.
2017 wiped out by injury
Tannehill is a tough evaluation.
We haven’t seen him in regular season action since December 11, 2016 (Week 14).
On that day, he suffered a partially torn ACL and a sprained MCL. Rest and rehab ensued, but, of course, Tannehill never returned.
Fast forward to training camp of 2017, and Tannehill again damaged his left ACL. This time, the result was a complete tear — and season-ending surgery.
This means we’ve only seen 12 full games from Tannehill in Adam Gase’s offense. On the plus side, he’s entering year 3 in the same system — a level of continuity he’s never reached before. And, participating in May OTAs, Tannehill appears back at 100%.
So there's reason for optimism. In 2016, the former 1st rounder ranked top-7 in completion rate (67.1%) and yards per attempt (7.7). His 4.9% TD rate marked a career-high, too. It certainly didn’t put him in elite range, but it was a mark bested by just 11 other passers.
So, right away, we saw positive returns from a still-developing QB and a young, ascending NFL mind. Will they be able to build off that 2016 momentum 2 years later?
One thing’s for sure: Miami must compensate for the loss of high volume WR Jarvis Landry. While he primarily factored into the (very) short passing game, his average of 105 catches per year since 2015 are a lot to replace.
Miami inked slot types Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola to free agent deals. Their presence gives a clear sign that the short passing game will remain prevalent. Besides, in 2016, only 8 QBs posted a lower average depth of target (aDOT) than Tannehill’s 8.2, per Pro Football Focus.
Returners Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker supply upside. Stills owns 15 TDs over the past 2 seasons, boasts top-end speed and will play 2018 at just 26 years old.
Parker, meanwhile, brings an enticing skill set. But we’ve seen foot, ankle, hamstring and back injuries prevent him from reaching his ceiling. It's noteworthy that the Tannehill-Parker duo missed valuable practice reps in multiple stops across the 2016 league calendar. Parker missed part of OTAs and over 1 week of training camp. A hamstring issue cost him Week 1, while that ailment — plus a back injury — limited him for much of the regular season.
The duo showed flashes of chemistry that year, but they lacked consistency. Connecting for 3 TDs in 11 games, their full-season pace together amounted to 99-64-848.
Certainly, it’s a make-or-break year for Parker in Miami, as the 25-year-old enters his 4th season.
Miami finally added an athletic TE to give this offense another dynamic. Penn State’s Mike Gesicki goes 6’6, 250 with long arms and elite athleticism. He projects as a red zone weapon who’ll help overcome the loss of Landry, whose 23 RZ targets in 2017 ranked T-3rd league-wide.
Up front, Miami made some offseason noise along the interior. Gone is Mike Pouncey, whose chronic hip condition and bloated salary led to a split. Miami shipped a late round pick to San Francisco for C Daniel Kilgore.
In a much more exciting acquisition, the Fins inked veteran G Josh Sitton to a 2-year deal. While past his prime at 32, Sitton provides a huge upgrade for a team that’s annually struggled inside.
Finally, consider the addition of former Bears OC Dowell Loggains. A history with Gase helped land this job. And while it remains likely his boss will still call plays, Loggains has said this offseason that he wants an “up-tempo, no-huddle offense.” It meshes with what Gase said last offseason — but the plan was scrapped when Tannehill went down.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
Tannehill will be 13 months removed from surgery when Week 1 of the 2018 season kicks off. He’ll be 637 days removed from his last NFL pass. And, well … that’s significant.
Even if he thrives this summer, it’s tough to get excited about Tannehill’s volume. He averaged a modest 31 attempts per game in 12 full contests in 2016. Miami ranked 4th in 2017 but game script played the biggest role. The Fins had a -112 point differential — 4th worst league-wide.
Miami also needs to improve on 3rd downs. The squad ranked last in the stat in 2017; T-31st in 2016.
Mix in concerns over Tannehill’s durability — and subsequent rushing upside — and it’s tough to like him as anything more than a mid-range QB2/best-ball QB3.