Redskins: The case for and against drafting Tua Tagovailoa

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TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA – NOVEMBER 09: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide throws a pass during the second half against the LSU Tigers in the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Why the Redskins should draft Tua

Tagovailoa’s dominance in college football has been evident from day one. A proven gamer, he is someone who elevated his play in the biggest moments of the biggest games, His excellence has been on display in his previous college football seasons.

Tua has been the sure-fire, elite quarterback prospect fans and national media members have declared worthy of “tanking” for. Despite such steep claims being made, the high level of play from Tagovailoa has continued even when you’d think there’s no getting better from it.

Through two college football seasons, Tagovailoa has been on a passing rampage. His 2018 passing campaign was revolutionary, as he impacted games with his arm as we’ve never seen before.

Tagovailoa, back in 2018, broke barriers statistically that have been unheard of. Through 15 games, Tua passed for 3,966 yards, he threw for 43 touchdowns and only six interceptions. That 2018 college football season, declared Tagovailoa to be one of the greatest prospects in years by several NFL analysts.

That same 2018 season, Tagovailoa led the NCAA in passing yards, passing efficiency, passing yards per attempt, passing yards per play. He received the SEC Offensive Player of the Year award, the 2018 Maxwell Award, and  the 2018 Walter Camp Player of the Year award.

The following season, a devastating hip injury held him to only nine games, but his dominance continued. In those outings, Tagovailoa flung the rock at a career clip totaling 2,840 yards, 33 touchdowns, and only three interceptions. He had the fifth-most passing yards in the SEC, was eighth in the NCAA in passing touchdowns, and second in the SEC in total touchdowns all while missing six games, minimum.

The numbers and the tape just absolutely scream elite pocket passer with a strong arm and an immensely accurate deep ball. Tagovailoa has a unique ability to evade pressure and throw accurately on the run, and is cool as the other side of the pillow when facing the blitz.

Tagovailoa, while not being a true dual-threat quarterback, has the athletic ability to evade pressure as noted above, but while doing so, completely changed the dynamic of an Alabama offense. For years, Alabama was looked at as the premier running football programs. Just feed your back 500 times a season, and reap the rewards. They’d require competent quarterback play, but nothing more. And most times that, with a great defense, will get them to 11 or 12 wins a season.

Tagovailoa changed that narrative and Alabama were title favorites, and everybody’s go-to for their pick to win the National Championship, knowing Tua would be under center. His elite level of play in undeniable.

Which fits the Redskins beautifully at this point. Tua has been phenomenal in college. Seemingly picks up the game and delivers in the clutch moments, as he’s done that for the past couple of seasons.

The Redskins coaching staff has no affiliation with Haskins or the progression of his play, due to not being on board when he was taken with the 15th overall pick back in the 2019 NFL Draft.

After Haskins struggled mightily throughout his time in 2019, the Redskins could pull off an Arizona Cardinals-esque deal, and ship out the unproven, quarterback prospect who has plenty of upsides, for the sure-fire, elite quarterback talent that is destined for NFL success.

With Tagovailoa coming at the price of the No. 2 pick, the Redskins would get the quarterback of their choosing, without moving an inch up in the draft. The value of taking an elite quarterback prospect, one your entire new regime is behind, is priceless. If Riverboat Ron and the crew feel Tua is their guy, then making that selection should be a no brainer.

Getting the Quarterback position right is tougher than a two-dollar steak. As Redskins fans know, they haven’t had a true game-changing, top-12 quarterback in ages. This move could potentially live up to that and much more, as Tagovailoa seemingly gets better and better the more he plays on the field.

Availability is the best ability in the NFL, with Tua’s injury history, it could cause a bit of worry. But when healthy, there’s no denying, Tua is destined for greatness with whatever jersey he’s rocking on Sunday’s.

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