2020 NFL Draft: Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa Player Profile and Analysis
Tua Tagovailoa entered College Football as a highly coveted five star recruit out of the state of Hawaii. In highschool, Tua was considered a dual-threat QB who excelled as both a runner and a passer. While at Alabama, Tua became a hero when Nick Saban benched Jalen Hurts at halftime and handed the Crimson Tide fate over to the lesser experienced freshman QB. The Tide trailed 13-0 at the half in need of an offensive spark the QB change did just that. Tua would go on to throw for three scores, including a walk-off game-winning TD in overtime leading the Tide to their 6th title under Nick Saban. The Effect of Tua's Injury On Tua's Draft Stock In a recent NFL.com article from March 9th, the author reports that Tua was cleared to go. Tua decided not to participate in the combine. Based on the March 9th report, Tua will be good to go this season. The stability of the hip, blood-flow abnormalities and other short- and long-term concerns that arose after Tagovailoa initially got hurt do not seem to be issues anymore based on medical reviews, including those from the combine, Cain said How does Tua's game translate to the next level? Tua is a versatile athlete who, prior to the hip injury, used his legs to keep plays alive. He has elite level accuracy at all three levels and is willing to stand in the pocket to make a big throw. Tua's game at the next level will hinge on his ability to use his legs to keep plays alive. He is not a burner at 6-0 217lbs, but before the hip injury, he was able to put pressure on defenses with his legs in the zone-read game. Tua excels in the RPO game, and whoever drafts Tua will need to be sure to implement an RPO heavy attack. Tua Tagovailoa Strengths TD to INT ratio in college 8/1 Fast release Good feet in the pocket shows good pocket movement Displays high-level accuracy at all three levels Tua Tagovailoa Weaknesses Two ankle surgeries and now a major hip injury in his young career raise concerns about his durability. Needs to improve back side reads, can be attributed to bad footwork when setting up to throw backside. Tries to throw open receivers more than he should He needs to improve his progressions and reads. Needs to improve his follow-through to add more zip on passes. Sometimes gets constricted when pressure is in his face. Tua Tagovailoa's 2019 very similar to Joe Burrow before the injury. Before Tua's injury, he was playing at an elite level on par with Joe Burrow in most categories. In fact, through 9 games, Tua was on a 15 game pace to throw for 4734 yds, 55 TD's and 5 INT's. Compared to Burrow who played 15 games and compiled 5671 yds, 60 TD's and 6 INT's. Tua finished the year with a QB rating of 206.93 compared to burrows 15 game 201.96. Tua's yards per attempt through 9 games in 2019, 11.3, ties him for first with Jalen Hurts (11.3), followed by Burrow in 2nd nationally (10.8). Tua vs top 25 opponents Regardless of the opponent, Tua rarely struggled to post a high-level QB rating. Since 2018, Tua has posted a QBR of 200 or better in 16 of 24 games (67%). Tua has averaged a 213.98 QBR since 2018. When facing a top 25 opponent since 2018, Tua has posted a 17/6 TD/INT ratio. Conclusion Tua Tagovailoa, if not hindered by his past injuries, can be an NFL starter. If Tua is going to be an elite NFL QB, he will need to improve his ability to go through progressions. He has the poise and improvability skills to be an elite level player in the NFL.