- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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We have an underrated rookie quarterback battle that will take place in Miami on Sunday.
Miami Dolphins first-round pick Ryan Tannehill will duel with Seattle Seahawks third-round pick Russell Wilson. Both are members of the extremely productive quarterback class of 2012, which is already getting rave reviews.
While No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts and No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin III get most of the rookie hype this year, Tannehill and Wilson have quietly produced. Tannehill and Wilson have been under the radar but quietly led their respective teams to 10 combined wins already this season. By comparison, Luck and RG3 also have 10 combined wins.
The interesting part is both Tannehill and Wilson were not expected to start right away. Tannehill entered training camp as the No. 3 quarterback behind veterans Matt Moore and David Garrard. But Garrard’s injury allowed more opportunity for Tannehill to compete with Moore. The rookie’s natural ability shined through to make Tannehill the Week 1 starter.
Wilson entered training camp as a mid-round pick and an underdog to free-agent signing Matt Flynn. Seattle signed Flynn to a multi-year contract with the expectation that he would be the starter. Instead, Wilson beat out Flynn this summer and has put Seattle in playoff contention.
Tannehill and Luck put on a show during their meeting in Week 9. The two rookies combined for more than 700 passing yards in Indianapolis' 23-20 victory.
Do not expect the same type of shootout Sunday between Tannehill and Wilson. But the performance of both rookie quarterbacks will have a big part in whether Miami or Seattle walks out of Sun Life Stadium with a victory.