Tua Tagovailoa Player Profile
Tua Tagovailoa. The man's name has been imprinted into the brains of most college football fans for the past two years, and for good reason. He can flat-out play. For the past couple college football seasons, all college football fans alike were blessed with an opportunity to see one of the best QB's in the nation destroy defenses effortlessly. The only downside to watching Tua play was the fact that he was usually out of the game by the time the third quarter came around, or at least by the end of it. The Alabama offensive system of quick fast reads in a West-Coast style offense helped Tua develop an uncanny ability to read defenses like a book. Hopefully, in the correct system, Tua can have the same type of impact in the NFL.
Tagvailoa has a very well developed set of skills that sets him apart from his competition. Being a QB under one of the greatest college coaches of all time doesn't hurt either, as Nick Saban has helped groom him into the player he is today. Along with his ability to extend plays and his calm demeanor under pressure, Tua possesses the necessary skills to be a leader in the NFL.
Pros: Tua has shown an extraordinary ability to read the defense both during pre-snap adjustments and while the play is in progress. He uses his eyes very well in baiting the defense as well as looking off safeties. He consistently makes the correct read, and is not scared in attempting to make plays. He has shown that he is not shy and will make any throw that he thinks he is capable making. Tua can consistently make it to his third or fourth read during the play and is patient in making decisions. He also has an ability to make plays with his feet. He isn't an elite athlete with tons of speed, but he definitely can be a game-changer with his feet. His pocket presence is exceptional and he has the ability to sense danger when it is closing in on him, while also keeping his eyes downfield and making the correct throw. Tua is a thrower with elite accuracy. He can make throws into tight windows, which he had to do while running RPO's for Alabama. His accuracy at all three levels is phenomenal and his field vision certainly helps with throwing receivers open.
Cons: Tua doesn't have many major concerns, but a big one is his injury history. He has had a few injuries that are worth noting. He's had high ankle sprains, which aren't major, but can cause problems if it continues to bother him. His major concern will be from the dislocated hip that he endured in 2019. This injury kept him out for the remainder of the season, and is a major injury that is most notably connected to Bo Jackson. A dislocated hip is what kept Jackson from ever playing football again. C.J. Mosley also suffered a dislocated hip in the 2012 BCS National Championship game, and he is still in the NFL. Tua also doesn't have the greatest arm strength. Again, like Burrow, Tua doesn't need to have a cannon big enough to out-throw Patrick Mahomes in order to be a great player.
Comparison: Tua Tagovailoa has shown an awesome ability to make correct decisions in most situations. He certainly remains calm under pressure and can make many throws in tight situations, which can be seen in Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has been known to extend plays with his feet, as well as having an accurate arm. Rodgers also makes quick throws and can read defenses like a book. One knock on A-Rod is that he gets a little too comfortable in the pocket, and sometimes throws off of his back foot on a regular basis, which can translate into bad throws. Tua tends to keep his footwork very well in the pocket. Rodgers does have an advantage in the arm-strength category, as he is known for his 70 yard bombs, and his awesome deep-ball accuracy, but all-in-all, the two seem to be similar in a lot of ways.
Expectations: With Burrow most likely going to the Bengals, I could see two things happening with Tua. Either the Lions like him enough to Draft him at pick No. 3, or the Dolphins take him at pick No. 5. I could also see Miami trading up to take him earlier, although any scenario can happen. In the end, I do see him ending up on the Dolphins as they attempt to rejuvenate the franchise. They have done a decent job so far doing that by making multiple signings in free-agency. If Miami can build a decent team around Tua, he can make a splash in the league sooner rather than later.
Ceiling: Aaron Rodgers
Floor: Jacoby Brissett