An Honest Assesment Of Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa put in awkward limbo with Deshaun Watson trade talks  escalating

He has been roasted by the National media more than sweet corn on the cob during the harvest. You either love him or hate him for the same reason. He is a kind guy who is Christian and for some they love it while others for whatever reason hate it. Much like former college star QB and NFL Bust Tim Tebow he has a following due to his faith. 

I could care less about his religious beliefs so that makes me more objective when assessing our young QB who has not even played two full seasons as a starter having just completed his 21st game of his career. 

PBP Joe Schad did a piece on how Tua has fared compared to his peers and in it he concludes: 

Where Tagovailoa, 23 years old, ranks compared to his peers in passer rating and completion percentage should be considered encouraging. He is developing and has shown signs of improvement in his most recent appearances. 

Without question, Tagovailoa will need to increase his passing yards per attempt in order to ever be considered in the same stratosphere as Mahomes or Watson. 

In the first 16 career games started by Mahomes and Watson, they each averaged 8.6 yards per attempt. Tua’s first 16 starts resulted in 6.6 yards per attempt. 

Among his peers, Tua is tied for 11th-fewest interceptions, with only 11 in this span. By comparison, for example, Allen had 19 interceptions and Watson 16. 

And Tua has avoided sacks at a reasonable rate commensurate to pressure, compared to some other young quarterbacks. He’s been sacked 29 times, 9th-fewest, compared to, for example, Watson, Burrow and Murray, each sacked 48 times. 

Tagovailoa is ranked near the middle of the group in pass attempts. Advocates will say he would have more yards and touchdowns with more pass attempts. Skeptics will note he would have had more interceptions and sacks with more pass attempts. 

Both points seem fair. 

On the surface, Tagovailoa’s 9-7 record may not seem overly impressive. But it turns out that’s tied for 12th-best among the 45 evaluated quarterbacks of the past decade. 

Most of the quarterbacks, 26 of 45, or 58 percent, posted losing records in the first 16 starts of their careers. And Burrow and Herbert still have losing records as starters. 

At this time, it’s hard to project that Tua will reach the level of performance turned in by some star players studied, notably Mahomes, Prescott, Watson, Wilson and Jackson. 

Those players burst onto the scene as dynamic and were instantly ultra-successful. 

But it would also seem too early to suggest that there is no chance Tua can ever be considered on par with peers like Herbert, Burrow, Murray and Allen or that he can’t be at least as productive as say, Cousins or Carr. 

Miami drafted Tagovailoa with the belief he could become an elite, upper-echelon, franchise-lifting quarterback. They will likely discuss after this season if they can still envision him leading the Dolphins onto the field at a Super Bowl. 

In order to fulfill his promise, Tagovailoa will need to demonstrate durability, leadership, efficiency and big-play creating ability. 

The first 16 games of Tua’s career have been solid. 

As for me I happen to think Tua is a good QB with potential and would have no issues with Miami deciding to hang onto the young QB and see where his development takes him, I also would love to have Deshawn Watson as our QB should he become available. 

The difference being Watson has proven he is a franchise QB where we are hoping that Tua will develop into one. How good would Tua’s number be if he lost WR Waddle? 

Here is a key point: 

Tua supporters will say get him more help and he will play better, better O-Linemen or skilled players surrounding him. Deshawn Watson did not have any help the last season he played and still balled out! Remember he lost DeAndre Hopkins his best WR early in 2020 and still put-up incredible numbers: 

  • 4,823 yards passing (1st) 
  • 33TD’s (Tied-7th) 
  • 7 INT’s (Tied-7th) 
  • QBR 63.7 (12th) 

Tua is a good QB prospect and it is hard to say what his ceiling will be, but Watson (despite his legal issues) is a top 5 QB in this league and just two years older than Tua. As been my stance all along I will support what Dolphins management do on this issue but a big part of me want Watson because with him the Dolphins can be a SB contender for the foreseeable future. 

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