Throughout the 2017 season we had heard about Tua Tagovailoa and his skills even though he was sitting on the bench behind Jalen Hurts. And when he got his shot in the second half of the National Title Game leading Alabama over Georgia the hype began to take over. It wasn’t too big of a surprise that Tua took over full time in 2018 and we continued to see the traits that had everybody talking. Here we look at why Tua could be that next elite NFL Draft quarterback Prospect.
Tua Tagovailoa doesn’t have a cannon for an arm, but doesn’t stop him from making plays because he has some of the best accuracy we’ve seen out of a quarterback in years. Whether its a short quick throw or driving the ball down the field, Tua is able to put the ball right where his receiver can make a play or keeping it away from the defender. Whether it is putting the ball out in front of the receiver so they can keep running or even putting it along the sideline for the receiver to make an easy catch, Tua can do it all.
As we mentioned before, Tua doesn’t have the strongest arm, but he’s able to make up for that by showing great touch. Tua is able to make bucket throws, dropping the ball over defenders and right into the arms of his weapons. When you can put it in the perfect place as the receiver is running it doesn’t matter how strong your arm is and allows Tagovailoa to carve up defenses.
To be successful in the NFL a quarterback has to shown that he can anticipate his receivers getting open so that the defenders have less time to come in an break up the pass. Tua shows the ability to read the defense and make throws before his receivers are making their break making some easy pitch and catch throws that the defense has no shot to break up. This is crucial for Tua since he lacks that cannon for an arm.
For a quarterback who has only one year as a starter under his belt it is remarkable how Tua has the mental part of the game down. Tua has shown that he is able to sit in the pocket and go through his reads to find the open receiver. It’s one thing to go from read to to read, but Tua’s ability to manipulate the defense with his eyes on a regular basis is next level. Understanding how to look off safeties is a big part of his game as Tua will look at one side of the field or stare down the safety to get them to freeze and allow his receivers to get into a place to have one on one coverage.
The NFL will always love the prototypical quarterback prospects that are 6’5 with cannon arms, but we are seeing several smaller framed quarterbacks with elite accuracy are thriving in today’s NFL. Tua Tagovailoa’s elite traits and the ability to make plays have been evident as he lead the Crimson Tide to new heights in the Nick Saban regime. As Tua is now draft eligible he’ll likely be considered as one of the top prospects and could be the next elite quarterback prospect.