During Joe Philbin’s first year as an NFL head coach, he had a group of first-year players that made an immediate impact.
On Monday afternoon, The Finsiders along with Dolphins fans selected Ryan Tannehill as the winner of the Finsiders 2012 Rookie of the Year Award, in a unanimous vote. Listen to the discussion of the panel here .
Here were the nominees for Finsiders Rookie of the Year:
- Jorvorskie Lane: The Dolphins’ rookie fullback, who had been out of football since a 2010 stint in the Indoor Football League, made the 53-man roster out of training camp and held down the fullback spot for the entire 2012 season, opening up holes for Reggie Bush and Co. in the running game. Lane finished the season with 11 receptions for 79 yards and three total touchdowns (2 rush).
- Jonathan Martin: The second-round pick out of Stanford started immediately, playing the first 12 games at right tackle. A late-season injury to Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long, however, forced Martin to shift to his natural position for the final quarter of the season. Martin’s versatility helped Miami in a big way during his rookie season.
- Lamar Miller: Miller didn’t go far to start his NFL career — he was a standout at the University of Miami (Fla.) — and made some nice contributions when he was asked to spell Reggie Bush, especially in the latter half of the year. Miller finished with 250 yards (a 4.9 yard per carry average) and a touchdown.
- Ryan Tannehill: When he was drafted in the first round of last April’s draft, it was unclear whether Tannehill would even get to play in 2012. The rookie quarterback earned the starting nod during the preseason and never relinquished the spot, becoming the first Dolphins rookie quarterback in franchise history to start all 16 games. The former Texas A&M Aggie broke Dan Marino’s rookie passing record with 3,294 yards. Tannehill’s final 2012 stats: 282-of-484 for 3,294 yards, 12 TDs and 13 INT
- Oliver Vernon: Another former Miami Hurricane who made the jump to the NFL in South Florida, Vernon made an early impact on defense and special teams. Vernon was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in the Dolphins’ 30-9 Week 8 win over the New York Jets; Vernon had a TD off of a blocked punt and a blocked field goal. Vernon’s final 2012 stats: 31 total tackles, 3.5 sacks; 1 TD (blocked punt).
- Honorable Mentions: Derrick Shelby, Rishard Matthews, Kheeston Randall, Josh Samuda
On Tuesday, The Finsiders will announce the winner of the 2012 Most Improved Player Award. To vote on the award and see who wins, tune in to The Finsiders live show Tuesday at 5 pm on Dolphins.com.