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The Early Lead
Posted at 08:46 PM ET, 08/20/2012

Ryan Tannehill, Jake Locker named starters for Dolphins, Titans


Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) throws a pass under pressure from Carolina Panthers' Charles Johnson (95) during the first quarter of a Week 2 preseason game. (Nell Redmond - AP)
So much for the value of experience under center in the NFL. Youth will be served this season as all seven quarterbacks drafted in the first round over the last two years are slated to start for their respective teams’ season openers.

The Tennessee Titans named 2011 first-rounder Jake Locker (the No. 8 overall pick) their starting quarterback on Monday, and the Miami Dolphins tapped 2012 first-rounder Ryan Tannehill (also selected eighth) as their starter later in the day.

Both beat out veterans — Matt Hasselbeck in Tennessee and Matt Moore in Miami — but both still have much to prove in their remaining preseason snaps.


Jake Locker is officially “the guy” in Nashville. (Brian Blanco - AP)
Locker, who saw action in five games last season, was just 4-of-11 for 21 yards in his first NFL start Friday night. Meantime Tannehill followed up his strong debut with a ho-hum 11-of-23 for 100 yards showing against Carolina on Friday night.

The rest of the 2011/12 quarterback classes are already entrenched in their starting roles — some more tenuously than others.

This year’s 1-2 duo of Andrew Luck (Colts) and Robert Griffin III (Redskins) were drafted to play immediately for a pair of franchises in desperate need of a new face-of-the-franchise-type QB.

Last year’s top pick, Cam Newton, set all kinds of rookie records for the Panthers while Blaine Gabbert (selected 10th overall) and Christian Ponder (12th) each supplanted opening-day starters.

The Cleveland Browns have already stated their intention to go with second-round pick Brandon Weeden over Colt McCoy as their starter while fellow second-rounder Russell Wilson is in a dead heat with Matt Flynn for the Seattle job.

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By  |  08:46 PM ET, 08/20/2012

 
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