Alabama Football: NFL thoughts on Tua Tagovailoa from Nick Saban and others

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 09: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on prior to the snap during the first quarter against the LSU Tigers in the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 09: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on prior to the snap during the first quarter against the LSU Tigers in the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Everyone has an opinion on Tua Tagovailoa and the NFL, including Alabama football coach, Nick Saban who evaluated Tua for ESPN.

There are so many opinions on former Alabama football quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. On the positive side is considerable praise of Tua’s physical gifts, and clearly, generational talent. Nearly universal is an opinion Tua is such a good person and such a strong leader, he will make any NFL team better.

But, there are other perspectives, not inherently negative, but questioning Tua’s future success as an NFL quarterback. Most often these comments focus on Tua’s injury history.  Tua’s injury history is fact, but as we wrote a couple of days ago, claims about it sometimes include bad information.

Another repeated claim is Tua’s success was driven by all the Alabama football talent around him. On a first review, the claim makes some sense. Tua was surrounded by a strong offensive line, solid running backs and the best wide-receiving quartet in college football. Does this mean Tua’s NFL team will have less talent to surround him? Even if that is true for half the teams in the NFL, it cannot be true for the others. There are no ‘not-elite’ players in the NFL. Some are more elite than others and designed parity spreads the most elite talent around all the teams.

Taking nothing away from Jedrick Wills, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III, Tua will have comparable or better talent around him on most (if not all) NFL teams. Any NFL GM who passes on Tua because of Alabama football talent is looking for an excuse to select another player.

Confused NFL General Managers needing help to solve the Tua puzzle should look to Nick Saban. On a new episode of ESPN’s Detail, Saban analyzed the NFL futures of Tua and Joe Burrow. Check out a summary below from The Palm Beach Post.

  • Tagovailoa perfectly meshes the knowledge to diagnose ways to attack a defense on a given play, and the athleticism to make plays work when they veer off-schedule.
  • (Saban said) “A lot of guys can’t do this. Fake this ball, look to the left and make a read, come back to the other side of the field, then read the middle of the field safety and hit a guy in stride downfield for a touchdown.”
  • (Saban said) “I think Tua is going to be a great NFL QB because he’s very instinctive, great hands and great touch making him a very accurate thrower. At all levels short, intermediate and drive the ball and he can throw deep. He’s athletic enough to avoid the rush and is smart enough to protect himself with his protections. As an NFL QB I think he’ll do an outstanding job.”

Next. Nick Saban's First-Round Draft Success. dark

Saban also gave Joe Burrow a strong review. He sais he expects Burrow will be the first pick in the 2020 Draft.