Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama
Year: Junior | Height: 6-1 | Weight: 219 | DNP at Combine
Insane ball placement in minuscule windows and deep balls. Deadly accurate and consistently produces gorgeous touch passes even under pressure. Deliberate placement to lead receivers away from defenders and set up after-catch opportunities – one of the most precise passers to come out of college in a long time. Elite decision making, only a handful of mistakes in his whole career. Tua is a highly intelligent passer who makes strong reads in real time. He’s been exposed to nearly every kind of read or concept you could imagine with Steve Sarkisian being added to the Alabama coaching staff this year.
Beautiful manipulation of zone defenders with his eyes. Very good anticipation, consistently hitting receivers at the top of their route. Incredible ability to sense pressure and very good movement within the pocket as well as excellent escapability. Has created some impossible plays when under pressure within the pocket, he keeps eyes down field whilst remaining completely calm. He’ll ramp up aggressiveness as needed when game situations call for urgency and keep swinging without fear. Has created some big play magic throughout the course of his storied career on the biggest of stages. Very clean mechanics with a nice, quick release.
Solid athleticism and mobility and has shown he’s able to successfully run QB run/option plays but durability concerns may cause some hesitation in getting him back involved in the run game. There’s a quiet confidence with his demeanor and he has the presence that lights up a room within minutes of interacting with him. That type of leadership and charisma is why many are so excited about him despite the obvious risks associated with his future outlook.
Injuries are the primary concern here, multiple high ankle sprains weren’t great for his draft stock and a late season dislocated hip definitely doesn’t help. This injury is quite severe and there were some questions regarding his future in the sport but it seems he is now healthy and ready to go. While his arm strength isn’t elite, it definitely won’t be a problem for an NFL team. Lots of velocity on throws from the pocket and on the run but deep balls do have a noticeable arc on them.
While Tua does have very real durability worries and modest throwing power, these are his only clear shortcomings as he’s shown a mastery of the vertical offence in 2018 and West Coast Offense concepts in Alabama’s 2019 spread offense. Tua’s unique skill set of ultra-quick processing skills, trigger, deadly accuracy and ability to remain comfortable under pressure are exceptional qualities that will translate wonderfully to the style of offense that productive NFL teams employ giving him a great chance to succeed at the next level.
Tua has a special ability to “find a way” to single handedly win games and make plays when they need to be made – there’s no stage too big for him. Despite his high risk; he has the highest upside from a QB in quite a while. This is a player with rare intangibles, exceptional decision making/mental processing, generational accuracy and touch, but most important Tua is a winner and that cannot be overstated.
Best Trait: Accuracy | Worst Trait: Durability
Red Flags: Injury History
Best Role/Scheme Fit: Balanced – Can improvise if need be in the pocket and make a few plays on his feet, but won’t have many designed QB runs.
Player Comparison: Drew Brees
Final Grade: 94.1 | Round Grade: Top 3 Pick
QB Rank: QB-1 | Overall Rank: 2