2. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Tua Tagovailoa has been on the NFL Draft radar ever since he entered in the second half of the 2018 championship game and led Alabama to a comeback win over Georgia. The popularity was wild enough for the Miami Dolphins fanbase to start a “Tank for Tua” movement to bring Tagovailoa to Miami, as he was regarded as the top passer in the 2020 NFL Draft in the summer.
The 2019 season for the Crimson Tide, and more specifically, Tagovailoa, didn’t go as planned. Tagovailoa suffered an ankle sprain in the middle of the season that required surgery, but came back and went toe-to-toe with Burrow while not at 100 percent. Against Mississippi State, Tagovailoa suffered a concussion along with a fractured posterior wall in his hip, leaving many to wonder if he’d return to pre-injury form.
Combine those injuries with the knee and ankle issues preceding the season, and the injury red flags are plentiful. It’s been especially hard now because teams can’t get in an in-person physical, and that’s crucial to understand his recovery from the hip injury.
Tagovailoa excels in the quick passing game because of his quick release and his ability to read coverage quickly. He doesn’t have the greatest arm, but Tagovailoa shows great accuracy to all levels of the field and leads his receivers very well to give them opportunities after the catch.
Tagovailoa also has shown marked improvement in the pocket, maneuvering to avoid defenders while keeping his eyes downfield. He’s also mobile enough to make plays with his legs and does pretty well processing the field post-snap.
Cleaning up reading deep safeties, along with injuries, are the red flags. However, the tape shows a first round player.
- Grade: Top-five
- Tua pro comparison: Steve Young