21: Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill
Tannehill is the only second-year player on the list, but why? By every standard metric, he was not a good quarterback in 2012 (6.8 yards per pass attempt, 76.1 passer rating, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions).
As with most rookie quarterbacks, there were some rough outings for Tannehill, including two games with three interceptions. At times, though, Tannehill showed the poise of a veteran signal-caller. There were long stretches of formidable play; in fact, he went four games without throwing an interception twice during the 2012 season (Weeks 5 thru 8, Weeks 12 thru 15). In at least one measure, he was one of the best in the league. When it came to throwing under pressure, only one quarterback had a higher accuracy percentage — Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (accuracy = (completions + drops) / attempts).
He looked more comfortable when the coaching staff opened things up for him and allowed him to use his legs. He'll get more opportunities with the ball in his hands in 2013, as well, since the coaching staff is reportedly adding more play-action elements to the offense. After adding an arsenal of new weaponry in Mike Wallace, Brandon Gibson and Dustin Keller, the Dolphins offense could be headed for big things, but it'll be up to Tannehill to help them get there.
Did you know? Tannehill wears No. 17, and is the 17th different starting quarterback for the Dolphins since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season — tied with the Washington Redskins for the most in that span.