With Tua Tagovailoa going to the Miami Dolphins, Nick Saban finally has himself a first-round quarterback. He now has a first-round pick at every position.
And there you have it. Nick Saban finally has himself a first-round quarterback.
With Tua Tagovailoa going No. 5 overall to the Miami Dolphins, Saban has successfully had a first-round pick at every major position group on the gridiron with the exception of, you know, special teams players.
Saban has only had two other quarterbacks get drafted prior to Tagovailoa during his time at Alabama: Greg McElroy in the seventh round to the New York Jets in 2011 and A.J. McCarron in the fifth-round to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014.
To have a first-round pick at every other position group entering the 2020 NFL Draft outside of quarterback is impressive, but one would have thought it would have happened by now at Alabama, given the amount of success the program has had under Saban.
However, the last time an Alabama quarterback went in the first round was back in 1976 when Richard Todd went No. 6 to the Jets. So yeah, it’s been a while since a former Alabama signal-caller was the face of a franchise coming out of school. Then again, there have been great former Alabama quarterbacks to star in the NFL such as Bart Starr, Joe Namath and Ken Stabler.
Because Tagovailoa seems to have that special something Starr, Namath and Stabler had in their Hall of Fame Careers, it makes all the sense in the world he’d be a top-five pick. For now, it looks like Miami has their long-awaited heir apparent to Dan Marino down in South Beach. It’s been 20 years since Marino last played a snap for the Dolphins in his illustrious career.
Tagovailoa looks to have fully recovered from his ghastly hip injury suffered in November vs. Mississippi State. He could play this fall, but Miami doesn’t have to rush him onto the field, as the Dolphins have a proven stop-gap starter in Ryan Fitzpatrick. He’ll keep the seat warm until Tagovailoa is ready to take it from him. However, it’s the end of the line for Josh Rosen in Miami.
We have to expect Rosen to be on his third team in three seasons since being a top-10 pick out of UCLA two years ago. Rarely do we get a bust at quarterback anymore, but there’s no way to categorize Rosen other than that at this point. It’s a bummer for him, but it’s Tagovailoa’s show in Miami now.
As for Saban, he can say without a shadow of a doubt he can cultivate a quarterbacking talent and guide him into being a first-round pick. Tagovailoa’s talent is undeniable. Let’s just hope he stays healthy and can fully tap into his potential playing for Brian Flores and Chan Gailey down in Miami.