Tua worth risk of Top 5 pick

Published 9:49 am Thursday, April 23, 2020

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When it comes to quarterbacks, the NFL Draft is a crapshoot.

 I remember ESPN’s NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. once saying that first-round quarterbacks have a 50-50 chance of success.

 Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa certainly fits that hit or miss category. If not for hip surgery in November, I believe that Tagavailoa would be going first overall to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.

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LSU quarterback Joe Burrow will become a Bengal.

As it stands a day before the draft, Tagavailoa is projected to go among the Top 10 picks, either with the Miami Dolphins or Los Angeles Chargers., who hold the fifth and sixth overall selections.

Miami and Los Angeles  also like Oregon’s  Justin Herbert.

The  pandemic forced the cancellation of Tagovailoa’s Pro Day on Alabama’s campus on April 3 in Tuscaloosa. NFL teams were unable to get a upclose look at the left-handed signal-caller.

Tagovailoa did a workout video and sent it to several NFL teams, but former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi said on his podcast that two teams flunked Tagovailoa in their pre-draft physicals.

 I believe that’s a smokescreen, a tactic often used by many NFL teams to drop a player’s stock, only to pick them at their slot.

Miami had a chance to land future Pro Hall of Famer Drew Brees in 2005, but passed because of a shoulder injury.

We all know what happened after that: Dolphins coach Nick Saban came to Alabama and won five national titles. Brees led the Saints to a Super Bowl win in 2009 and is now the NFL’s career passing leader.

If the Dolphins took a chance on Brees, Saban probably wins a couple of Super Bowl titles and never comes to Alabama.

The way I see it, Alabama would likely not have the greatest 10 year run in college football history.

I also believe that Saints would have gone through several several quarterbacks during this span. Brees is the reason why the Saints hoisted the Lombardi trophy and always in title contention.

I don’t see Tagovailoa lasting past the 10th overall selection. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Dolphins or Chargers move into the top three and grab the 2018 Heisman Trophy runner-up.

To me, Tagavailoa is worth the risk. I just see something special in Tagovailoa. My brother thinks I’m high on Tagovailoa because he’s left-handed.

 In a twist of irony, Tagovailoa is represented by agent Leigh Steinberg, who once had Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young among his clients of signal-callers. Young, who led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl title in 1994, is left-handed.

If he can stay healthy, Tagavailoa can become a superstar in the same breath with the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens a few years down the road. He has that kind of potential.