When Tua Tagovailoa was drafted fifth overall in the NFL draft, pundits around the NFL thought the Dolphins had finally found their franchise quarterback. With comparisons to Drew Brees when it came to accuracy, picking Tua over the likes of Justin Herbert seemed like a no-brainer. Oh, how the times have changed.
Tua struggled in his rookie season with only 11 touchdown passes to five interceptions in nine starts, while Herbert went on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year as he took the league by storm. The Oregon star has carried over his success to 2021, as the Chargers are now 4-1 with Herbert boasting a QB rating of 104.7.
Tua has only started two games this season due to injury, but didn’t perform well in either one. The Dolphins have actually had more success with backup Jacoby Brissett under center, which is all you need to know.
None of this surprises me, and it’s quite simple why. Tua Tagovaliloa had no business being drafted in the first round of the NFL draft, nor did Mac Jones. Both quarterbacks were part of an incredible system in Tuscaloosa that made quarterbacks look far better than they actually are.
Greg McElroy was the starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide in 2009 and finished with a school record in passing yards at the time. Then again, it helps when you have Julio Jones to throw the ball to, and Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson in your backfield.
A.J. McCarron looked like the second coming of Tom Brady when he was Alabama’s signal caller, and has been nothing more than a career backup ever since being drafted by the Bengals in 2014. McCarron has only started in four NFL games in that span.
Blake Sims was under center for Nick Saban’s team for the 2014 season, and broke the passing yards record led by McCarron. Against Florida, Sims threw for 445 yards which at the time was the second most in a game in school history. Sims later went undrafted in the 2015 Draft, and had a cup of tea in both the CFL and AAF.
Quarterback Jake Coker won the National Championship with Bama in his senior year. The furthest Coker got afterwards was a practice roster spot with the Arizona Cardinals. He retired from professional football in 2017.
Jalen Hurts is showing signs of progress, but still has real flaws of his own, and doesn’t have a deep ball that transitions to the NFL. Mac Jones is a game manager for a Patriots defense that wins with a defense first mentality under Bill Belichick, and Tua Tagovailoa has a weak arm and an alarming history of injuries.
Dating all the way back to college, Tua has had surgery on his ankle, dislocated his hip, and now this year, fractured his rib. Tagovailoa is the first left-handed QB to be drafted in the NFL since Tim Tebow, and we all know how Tebow’s career ended up panning out. Tua doesn’t have the legs or arm of a Michael Vick, and the Dolphins remain a franchise who has struggled to find a franchise quarterback for years. Whether it be Ryan Tannehill, Chad Pennington, or Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins continue to be left wanting more.
Maybe Tua will end up being good, but I highly doubt it. With an ongoing slew of young quarterbacks coming out that can have strong arms and can take off, Tua is somewhat stuck in the middle. This is a league where Tagovailoa would be good in the mid 2000’s, not 2021.
The Dolphins drafted the wrong quarterback, and it took less than two years for them to realize it. We’ll look back on the 2020 NFL Draft and look at a quarterback who never made a Pro Bowl, and one who made several and ended up in the Hall of Fame.
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