Tua Tagovailoa was the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Being the second quarterback taken behind Joe Burrow and right before offensive rookie of the year Justin Herbert. Tua made his first start vs. the Las Angeles Rams, and despite coming out with a win, he didn’t play as well as many hoped.
The Miami Dolphins had the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Many raised the question, would the Dolphins use that pick on a quarterback? The Dolphins traded the third pick for the 12th pick to the 49ers and then traded back up for the Sixth overall pick to the Eagles. This ultimately showed that Tua is the guy coach Brian Flores is rocking with going into the next season.
Why Is Tua Being Questioned?
Tua Tagovailoa went 6-3 when he started for the Miami Dolphins this past season. Tua was taken out multiple times in the 4th quarter for Ryan Fitzpatrick due to his subpar play. Many teammates throughout the season anonymously spoke out against Tua, saying they didn’t believe he was the guy.
Due to coming out of Alabama, Tua had high expectations and was expected to do great things. So far, Tua has disappointed, but coach Brian Flores believes in him, which says a lot. Tua is excellent when the play goes how it is supposed to, but when plays break down as most plays do in the NFL, he breaks down as well.
Who’s He being Compared To?
The reason many are honestly questioning Tua’s playing ability is how well his two other quarterbacks in his class were playing. Joe Burrow, before being injured, had 2,688 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, and five interceptions, while Tua had 1,814 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, and five interceptions. Tua and Burrow played the same amount of games which is why many are concerned.
When you’re the pick before somebody, and that person picked after you outplay you, often that’s who you’ll be compared to. Take Jalen Reagor and Justin Jefferson, for instance; Reagor was one pick before Jefferson, who made all-pro this year. When you aren’t doing what others are, you get pushed out of this league. The NFL is changing if you don’t perform on your rookie deal, you’re off the team, and you’re being replaced.
Look at Sam Darnold and Daniel Jones, two young quarterbacks who both haven’t truthfully performed on their rookie contracts. Darnold is now on a different team in Carolina, and it is understood that if Jones doesn’t perform, he is gone as well. Then you’ve got QB’s who are serving, such as Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott & Josh Allen, who have either gotten paid or are in for a big payday.
Tua is still young. I believe it is unfair to cancel a guy out to first-year struggles. The Dolphins are drafting sixth in this year’s draft and have three other picks in the top 50. They’ve recently signed Will Fuller, who can help when on the field, although he faces a six-game suspension. Mike Gesicki & DeVante Parker and a second year in the system. Everything aligns for Tua to succeed. He has a top 10 defense, so he won’t have to deal with shootouts every week.