Scout Talk: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama

Tua Tagovailoa
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Class: Junior
Height: 6’1
Weight: 218
Draft Grade: Mid 2nd round
Draft Projection: 2-3rd round

Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama

Athletic Ability

Tua Tagovailoa is quick, agile, and mobile. He has a knack for using his athletic ability to extend plays and can pick up huge chunks plays with his legs if unaccounted for.

Competitiveness

2018 1st Team AP All-American. 2018 SEC Offensive Player of the Year. Tua is an excellent field general with unparalleled production among Alabama QB’s.

Mental Alertness

Tua handles pressure well, knows how to manipulate the pocket. He has active feet, uses eyes to shift secondary, and utilizes an effective pump fake.

Strength/Explosion

Tua runs with tremendous power, he’ll probably need to add more muscle if he continues with his current style of play at the next level. He suffered a high ankle sprain in ’18 SEC Championship, missed the 2nd half but returned for playoffs. He’s dealt with a nagging ankle injury in ’19 but that hasn’t caused him to miss significant time. Tua also dislocated his hip in a game vs Mississippi St and is set to miss the remainder of the season. An optimistic recovery time is 3-4 months, but there are still other factors that may hinder his comeback.

Position Skill

Tagovailoa is great with RPO’s and quick timing routes. He shows great accuracy with short and intermediate throws. Tua throws a great deep ball, he can drive it downfield with zip, but will need to work on touch throws. He has above average mechanics, a quick release, and active feet that reset fast. However, he does have a bad habit of starting the ball too low in his throwing motion. Tua throws well on the move but tends to hold the ball too long trying to make a play, which can lead to potential turnovers. He moves well in the pocket but has shown that he can force some throws when pressure is in his face.

Overall

Even with his recent injury, it’s almost a certainty that the Junior quarterback from Alabama will forgo his senior season and enter the 2020 NFL Draft. Tua does a lot of things well and has proven to be a phenomenal leader on and off the field. He’s put up gaudy numbers in Tuscaloosa, but I question how much of that was a product of playing with the best wide receiver corp in the NCAA and an offensive line full of 1st round talent?

Mathematically, Tua graded out as a mid 2nd round prospect. Before his dislocated hip, I projected Tua to be taken in the top 15 picks. That may still happen by a team who is enamored with his abilities, but a more realistic projection is that teams will be cautious and target him late in the 2nd-3rd round. He’ll likely be given the opportunity to play right away(assuming his hip has fully healed), but would certainly benefit from some time behind a veteran quarterback to start his career.

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