Injury History: Finger (2018), Knee (2018), Quad (2018), Ankle (2018)
Ankle (2019), Hip (2019)
Games Evaluated: 2019 Vs: LSU, South Carolina, 2018 Vs: Auburn, Oklahoma
Report By: Alexander Amir
Pocket Mobility/Avoid Pressure: 8.10
Tua has plenty of quickness and agility to make defenders miss both in the pocket and on the move. He maintains his balance very nicely when sidestepping and shows good flexibility while maneuvering his body around the pocket. He is able to re-establish his throwing base quickly and efficiently. Tua's pure foot speed is very good, and while he won't necessarily outrun safeties, he will always be a threat to pick up yardage with his legs. He also has excellent pocket mobility and is comfortable avoiding pressure with just small movements while keeping his eyes upfield.
PASSING SKILLS: 8.10
Quick Release/Mechanics: 8.50
Short Accuracy: 9.00
Intermediate Accuracy: 7.70
Deep Accuracy: 8.30
Big Play Ability: 8.00
Avoid Errors/Mistakes: 8.80
Arm Strength: 6.30
Tua might have the best mechanics in the class. He drops back with consistent footwork and maintains a wide base while releasing the ball from over the top. His release is very quick and he easily adjusts his arm level when necessary. Tua's arm strength is only above-average, and it shows particularly on velocity throws across the field. The ball takes a bit too long to get there. However, Tua does follow through and put effort on these types of throws every time. In terms of accuracy, it's hard to get much better in the short area of the field than Tua does. Not only does he consistently hit his targets, which is expected, but he has a knack for changing the catch point by a couple of inches to help lead his receiver in the right direction to avoid a defender. Tua also throws one of the prettiest deep balls in the class despite his limited arm strength and has an outstanding feel for the trajectory and touch to put on the ball. His intermediate accuracy is the only area that is a little questionable, and that is mostly due to his limited arm strength. With his deep ball accuracy and very smart decision making, Tua has plenty of opportunities to break open a game with big plays.
Poise In Pocket: 7.40
Consistency / Motor: 6.00
Improvisational Ability: 7.00
There are two low scores for Toughness and Consistency here, which is incorporating Tua's massive injury risk. Tua doesn't shy away from contact and will still stand poised in the pocket, but he tends to rush his throws when under pressure and will see a dip in accuracy. He also has the athleticism to improvise, but when throwing on the run his limited arm strength really rears its head. He needs to utilize his entire body to make velocity throws further down the field, and he struggles to do so when his base is narrowed and he can't generate full torque. Tua's production has been excellent throughout college, with an 87:11 TD: INT ratio and a 69.3% career completion percentage.
Blitz/Coverage Recognition: 8.80
Decision Making: 8.50
As good as his mechanics are, Tua's best attribute has to be his mental makeup. He comfortably scans the field and is a quick decision-maker, and is adept at pump-faking and manipulating the defense with his eyes. He understands coverage and has a great feel for pressure around him. There aren't really any qualms here.
Tua’s pro-readiness is impressive. He has really sound and consistent footwork and mechanics that allow him to deliver the ball with accuracy to all levels of the field. His quick release helps him hit receivers in tight windows, and he follows through on most throws to make sure there’s adequate velocity. He is comfortable stepping up and moving around in the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield, and can make throws in the face of pressure. Mentally, Tua is very comfortable going through his reads, understands the defense, and has very good instincts. Tua’s all-around accuracy is great, but he has a particularly impressive touch on deep balls. He also has enough athleticism to be a threat with his legs, both when escaping the pass rush and when picking up yardage.
In terms of his game, Tua lacks in just a couple areas. When he rushes his release due to pressure or a receiver he sees last minute, the ball tends to sail on him. He is just a bit of a rhythm passer. He’s uncomfortable with throwing off-balance or from weird arm angles, but he’s not as adept as making those adjustments as another QB in this draft. His arm strength is fine but unspectacular, and it’s evident on film that he sometimes needs to put in some extra work to get enough juice on his throws. Despite his ability to recover from injury, Tua’s history is concerning. His lower body has taken a lot of punishment, and he has legitimate durability concerns.
Tua Tagovailoa has been on the football world's radar since high school, where he came out as the top dual-threat QB in his recruiting class. After he replaced Jalen Hurts in the National Championship game and led Alabama to an overtime, comeback victory, he became a household name. Tua's prowess on the field is unedniable and his accuracy is unmatched by any QB in this class or in recent drafts. Unfortunately, he also has an extremely high injury risk, particularly for a projected top 5-10 pick. His hip has purportedly fully healed as of April, though the limited access that NFL teams have to him will make it difficult for them to fully be sure. Tua is a boom or bust prospect who has the potential to be a top 10 QB in the NFL if healthy, or who may rarely see the field due to an accumulation of injuries. Pro Comparison: Drew Brees. Team Fits: Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers, Detroit Lions. Projection: Top 5.