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  • March 2, 1998


  • 6' 1"


  • 219


  • 2021


  • Pros:

    1. Decision Making: 

    Tua's decision making may be the best in the class. Watching him go through all his progression while in the pocket was outstanding. His eyes never stop moving making sure he doesn’t stare down a target attracting defenders. Tua is able to find the highest probability of success throw with ease and with the talent on the Alabama offense he had a lot of options, and time to check them all with his line. A poor decision wasn’t something you saw Tua do often, defenses had to get creative in throwing Tua off their assignments. Having this trait in the NFL will give Tua a head start on other rookies who tend to struggle with decision making for a couple of years coming into the league. This trait is one of the biggest reasons I would give the highest floor of any of the QB prospects in this class to Tua. 

    2. Arm Accuracy:

    The Accuracy of Tua comes a lot from his decision making that was just explained above. Tua works through his options and makes the throw that he sees the best chance of a catch being made. His short distance and medium distance throws are made with ease. He hits the targets in the chest in open field and has a beautiful over the shoulder ball away from defenders. Depending on what team ends up selecting Tua, a problem he may see is protection. Him having time to go through each progression to make the right choice and throw a accurate ball is a huge part of his success in college. If he has a bad offensive line early in his career we may see more mobility and more inaccurate throws from the QB. 

    3. Pocket Presence:

    Watching this guy in the pocket is like a fast-paced thriller film. So many things going on, on the screen but your eyes are glued to the main character who’s just driving through the chaos. The main character on the screen being Tua, he steps up and rolls in the pocket so smoothly, and seems to know even what’s supposed to be his blind spots. He gives himself as much time as possible to make an accurate throw and if its downfield gives his target enough time to break free. Wr's will love playing with Tua because of this ability, and it will also make them better. 


    1. Arm Strength:

    Lack of elite arm strength is not a huge red flag in the league as long as you can make all the NFL caliber throws. In Tua’s case he has the ability to push the ball down field when needed and can perform all the needed throws. A lot of his deep balls in college are underthrown. Forcing wide outs to pull back on their routes and not be hit in stride. Having great targets like Juedy and Ruggs created great trust for Tua in his Wr's. More likely than not he won’t have either of those guys come the NFL season. With Tua's arm as is a lot of teams will try to take away the middle of the field and force him to throw it deep to beat them. Now how he responds to this will be telling, can he adapt his playstyle and hit his targets in strides for the big plays or will this be his downfall? Only time will tell!

    2. Reading Defenses:

    Reading defenses is one of the toughest jobs a QB has in the NFL which is full of Defenses coaches that have developed methods to hide and fake coverages with the intent to trick the QB into a mistake. Elite QB's in the league even struggle with this, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes recently admitted that he didn’t know how to read defenses till the 2nd half of this last season a year after already winning MVP. A game that puts this on display is against Georgia this past season. The bulldogs defense did really well at faking a zone to fool Tua into throwing into what would become man coverage. 

    3. Injuries:

    This is the most said con you will hear about Tua until he completes a full season. This past injury being the most serious and the one on all 32 team’s minds. Reports on his rehab have all been positive, but just a year removed from the league seeing one of the best QB's in the game (Andrew Luck) hanging his cleats up early because of injuries has to concern scouts. The question is, will Tua be the same player we saw in college, will he continue to struggle with injuries. No matter how good Tua is or could be if he can’t stay on the field it won’t matter. 

    Player Comparisons:

    Floor: David Garrard

    Ceiling: Russell Wilson


    - Destin Adams-

    Twitter: @destin_adams14



Tua Tagovailoa is a player who doesn't need an introduction, but it doesn't hurt to run through his background. He grew up in Hawaii and dominated at the same high school as Marcus Mariota. Tagovailoa then chose Alabama over schools like Oregon and UCLA. 

During his freshman season, Tagovailoa served as a backup to Jalen Hurts until the final game of the season. In the National Championship against Georgia, Tagovailoa replaced a struggling Hurts. Tagovailoa was 14-of-24 for 166 yards with three touchdowns and an interception while running for 27 yards. In overtime, Tagovailoa threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Devonta Smith to get Alabama another National Championship. 

Tagovailoa won the starting quarterback job over Hurts for the 2018 season and was sensational for the Crimson Tide. In 2018, Tagovailoa completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,966 yards with 43 touchdowns and six interceptions. He led Alabama to return to the National Championship game, but this time, the Crimson Tide lost to Clemson. 

2019 Season Outlook: The Crimson Tide will see some good defenses in their divisional games with excellent NFL talent in the SEC West, but they don't play any difficult non-conference opponents. Tagovailoa should have a fast start to the season with cupcakes like Duke, New Mexico State, and Southern Miss early in the year. The Crimson Tide also showed a lot of courage by scheduling Western Carolina in late November. Tagovailoa should have his way with plenty of SEC opponents including South Carolina, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M. 

Tagovailoa's toughest opponents will be LSU in early November, Mississippi State a week later, and Auburn to conclude the season. Those three defenses have a lot of NFL talent for the 2020 and 2021 NFL Drafts. 

Skill-Set Summary: Tagovailoa is a good fit for the current NFL and looks like he could become a quality starter early in his NFL career. He can beat defenses as a pocket passer or use his feet to move the ball on the ground, and is dangerous quarterback to make a game-changing throw any time he drops back to pass. Tagovailoa makes plays in the clutch and has the presence of a winner. 

Tagovailoa is an aggressive passer who doesn't hesitate to challenge defenses downfield. He throws a very good deep ball, showing a quality arm and an ability to place his passes well downfield. He may not have an elite cannon, but his arm looks good enough. In the pocket, Tagovailoa shows patience and doesn't panic when his first read is covered. With presence and feel, he has the ability to function in a vertical passing offense. 

Tagovailoa is a steady passer who generally has good accuracy. He does well for the most part on his short and intermediate passes to hit receivers on the run on slants and crossing routes. 

In almost every NFL game, there are a few third-and-medium situations on which a mobile quarterback can use their legs to pick up a first down, and Tagovailoa has that ability. He is a good athlete with enough quickness to get yardage on the ground. His mobility and athleticism allow him to buy time and escape sacks. There are also times that Tagovailoa shows an ability to scramble and make throws off platform to move the chains. Tagovailoa is not tall, but not too short given the current trend in the NFL. He also has a thick build, and that should help him to avoid injury. 

Tagovailoa has some things he can seek to improve on, and he definitely has upside to develop as he gains more experience over only his second season as a starter. There are plays on which he could pull the trigger a little faster and anticipate his receivers breaking open rather than waiting an extra second. In the NFL, he won't have as much time to throw as he does at Alabama. His footwork and mechanics could use some development, but he has a very good starting point for a quarterback entering the next level. Tagovailoa is also left-handed, and that will cause time to adjust for his pro receivers, because the vast majority are used to a right-handed quarterbacks, and his offensive line is going to need a very good right tackle as he will be the blind-side protector for Tagovailoa. 

Tagovailoa looks like a future NFL starter and probably will be a team's young franchise quarterback come training camp of 2020.


Published on December 03, 2019 at 9:57 PM (ET)

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