This will (hopefully) be the last thing I write about Tua Tagovailoa until after the draft. For the last 6 months, I’ve had to listen to every media outlet in America say the words “but the hip”. The Tua discussion has gone to a place that belongs in banana land. WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE DOING HERE!?! Tua Tagovailoa is the best quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft and it’s not close. I’m pretty good at evaluating this thing called the quarterback position so you can hold me to it. I just hope you do the same when the other platforms criticize teams for passing on Tua years later when they showed that same hesitation now.
Let’s get to the so called negatives first. I’ve heard two real complaints on Tua from other people that don’t know what they’re talking about. The first is the injury concerns. I’m not a medical professional but what I do know is that he had tight rope surgery on both of his ankles. It’s a relatively new procedure that’s essentially black magic. He’s basically immune to high ankle sprains now. Somehow that’s viewed as a negative.
Then there’s the hip. Again, I’m not a medical professional. What I do know is that Tua has been medically cleared to resume football activities. He’s throwing the pigskin around and looks great.
Let’s break down a few things. If you need to see this 10 second video to decided whether to draft Tua or not, you’re the dumbest human on the planet. Second, he’s moving around fine. There are no issues.
This isn’t 1990. This is 2020. CJ Mosley broke his hip at Alabama and is now an $85 million linebacker. Back in the 90’s Boobie Miles tore his ACL and that was it. Ball game over. We have come a long way. Players get hurt now and they come back.
Here is the other part that I do not understand. Why is the hip injury in some sort of special category of red flags. “But the hip”. Why is the hip a bigger red flag than Joe Burrow being a one year wonder? Why is the hip a bigger red flag than Justin Herbert being a check down machine? Why is the hip a bigger red flag than Jordan Love sucking at Utah State? What are we doing here? Would you rather draft someone who is freakishly talented but has gotten hurt in the past or someone who’s just not talented? The fact this is an argument blows my mind.
The other red flag people seem to bring up is the talent that Alabama has. Hey, dumb, dumb… Alabama always has good players. Must have forgotten about the years when Alabama had Julio Jones, Mark Ingram, Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, Derrick Henry, etc. Alabama has always been loaded. Kenyan Drake was a back up running back. Alvin Kamara had to transfer because he couldn’t make the team. Now we’re going to pretend Tua has some sort of unfair advantage nobody else does?
Hey dumb, dumb… why didn’t other quarterbacks look this good then? There’s been a lot of quarterbacks come through Alabama. All of them had good supporting casts. John Parker-Wilson, Greg McElroy, AJ McCarron, Jake Coker, and Blake Sims are the recent examples. Here are some facts.
John Parker-Wilson threw for 10 passing touchdowns in 14 starts with Julio Jones on the roster.
Greg McElroy took over and started from 2009 to 2010. The Alabama offense averaged 1.2 passing touchdowns per game and then 1.8 the next year. Both with Julio on the roster.
Below I’m going to show you what the Alabama offense has really looked like. Then I’ll show you what it looked like with Tua. I’m going to list how many passing touchdowns per game the Crimson Tide scored per game. Keep in mind they weren’t killing teams back then because of bad quarterback play so the starters played most of the game. Alabama beat Tulane 20-6 in 2008. Imagine if that happened today? Tua changed the perception of what offense looks like at Alabama.
- 2008: 0.8
- 2009: 1.2
- 2010: 1.8
- 2011: 1.2
- 2012: 2.2
- 2013: 2.3
- 2014: 2.3
- 2015: 1.5
- 2016: 1.7
- 2017: 2.0
- 2018: 3.5
- 2019: 3.8
Tua basically doubled the Alabama offensive production over night. He’s not just the best quarterback in the history of the program, he’s the most efficient passer in college football. Do you see how stupid this argument is starting to become? You’re telling me Joe Burrow doesn’t have great players at LSU around him? Tua Tagovailoa has 87 career touchdowns at Alabama in basically a year and a half. AJ McCarron is the next closest in school history with 77 but was also a 4 year starter.
Tua’s production often times gets over looked but I want to take another angle. Did you realize that he’s had a different offensive coordinator in all 3 years of his college career? Brian Daboll, Michael Locksley, and Steve Sarkisian. Nick Saban is a defensive head coach at heart. Tua was putting up historic numbers with the Maryland head coach who is 4-14 with the Terps and drunk Steve Sarkisian who the Falcons couldn’t run out the door fast enough. Joe Burrow was awful in 2018 with Steve Ensminger and fantastic in 2019 with Joe Brady. But that’s not a red flag? “But the hip” I got it, you’re dumb.
The production speaks volumes by itself. The most efficient passer in NCAA history. 69.3 percent, 87 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and a 119.4 rating. He’s better across the board than anybody we have ever seen play the position from a statistical standpoint. Doing it in the SEC instead of the pillow fight Big 10 makes those numbers feel much more real too. The stats are one thing. The skillset is another. A quarterback with his skillset doesn’t fail.
Turn on the tape and there’s just so much to love with Tua. He’s the closest thing to Russell Wilson to enter the NFL since the man himself. The skill sets that stand out the most are his ball placement and ability to maneuver around the pocket while reading through progressions. I’ve never seen a quarterback who is better with manipulating defenders with his eyes and progressing through reads at a rapid speed. That’s what really makes him so special. His ability to go from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 to 5 back to 2 in a split second is what separates Tua from the rest of the bunch. You can’t teach that ability in him to always make the right decision.
The only difference between Russell Wilson and Tua is that he’s a lefty. They play the exact same. Both can pick up first downs with their legs and make plays when nothing else is there. The man just has everything and checks every single box. Tua Tagovailoa has the best on field track record of any quarterback to enter the NFL Draft in a very long time.
I know people need something but the discussion around Tua Tagovailoa is the dumbest draft conversation since when people thought Mitchell Trubisky was good. This is a can’t miss sure fire Super Bowl caliber franchise quarterback. You run to the podium to draft someone like this. Tua Tagovailoa is the best quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft and it’s not even close.