When Tua Tagovailoa plays this season, who will be catching passes from him?
Tua Tagovailoa has massively downgraded at wide receiver, going from college to pro.
When Tagovailoa set the SEC ablaze with his beautiful left-handed spiral, he was helped by one of the best receiving corps in the Power 5. In his junior season in Tuscaloosa, Tagovailoa had four fantastic receivers to rifle the ball to in Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. Had he stayed at Alabama for his senior year, he could have played with two of them.
While Jeudy and Ruggs were first-round talents as well, there will be a time when Tagovailoa will miss throwing the ball to Smith and Waddle. With two Miami Dolphins receivers in Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson opting out of the 2020 NFL season, Tagovailoa has DeVante Parker and that’s it. Frankly, he may be better served holding a clipboard and watching Ryan Fitzpatrick go to work.
Is a lack of wide receivers a reason to keep Tua Tagovailoa on the bench?
Hear me out. Maybe, just maybe, we got a little bit ahead of ourselves in thinking Miami was going to push for a playoff spot under second-year head coach Brian Flores. Though landing Tagovailoa at No. 5 in the 2020 NFL Draft was huge for the Dolphins’ future, there is no point in throwing him out there to the wolves when he’s got no one to throw the ball to. That’s what Fitzpatrick’s for.
Though he’s on a new team, Tagovailoa has already earned the label of being injury-prone. There is no doubt about how talented he is, but let’s hope for the Dolphins’ sake he doesn’t become the next Sam Bradford. The NFL already has one often-injured star quarterback and his name is Carson Wentz. The league doesn’t a pair of top-five picks unable to play a full season regularly.
Miami went surprisingly 5-11 last season. Everybody and their brother thought the Dolphins were going to win precisely zero games in 2019. Boy, did they prove us wrong or what? They played so well they were still able to “Tank for Tua” and draft Tagovailoa at No. 5 coming off a major hip injury. If his athleticism isn’t what it was pre-Mississippi State game, this could be a huge problem.
Tagovailoa will eventually play for Miami this season, you know, once Fitzpatrick has thrown three picks in back-to-back losing efforts for the ‘Phins. In between early-season games holding a clipboard and watching Fitzpatrick play some FitzMagical football, he’ll probably catch some Crimson Tide games, as well as some Maryland Terrapins games, now that his brother plays there.
While Maryland will probably be terrible because when has Mike Locksley ever proven to anybody he can win games as a college head coach, Tagovailoa will feel a bit jealous when he sees Alabama starter Mac Jones miss a wide-open Smith or Waddle against an inferior SEC secondary in September. Tagovailoa would have made the throw, en route to Smith or Waddle pay dirt.
If Tagovailoa wanted an NFL receiving corps in 2020, he was better off staying put at Alabama.