Tua Tagovailoa will enter the NFL draft as arguably this year’s most intriguing prospect.
Purely from a talent standpoint, Tagovailoa can go toe-to-toe with any quarterback in the 2020 draft class. In fact, some might argue the Alabama product is the most talented of the signal-caller bunch this year. But due to a nasty hip injury that derailed his final season with the Crimson Tide, he’ll go into the draft with some red flags.
Stephen A. Smith believes it’s important to remember the only concerns regarding Tagovailoa are related to health, not skill. As such, the “First Take” co-host believes there’s one team out there that would be the most conducive to keeping Tagovailoa injury-free and thus be able to most reap the benefits.
“…His skills are not an issue. The issue for him is his durability. That’s about it,” Smith said Monday on ESPN. “Well, guess what? Tom Brady made a career of getting the ball (out) inside of two seconds. He’s known for getting rid of the ball relatively quickly. Last time I checked, Josh McDaniels, his offensive coordinator, is still in New England. Bill Belichick is still in New England. If they can get Tom Brady to get rid of the ball relatively quickly, they can certainly get Tua to do that as well. That, combined with his ability to throw the football with accuracy — I think you could ultimately do some things.
“I’m not saying it’s going to happen. Please, don’t get me wrong. …I’m thinking about the system the New England Patriots have, the coaching. Bill Belichick, his close relation with Nick Saban. They obviously have a very, very close relationship spanning decades. They’re very familiar with one another. Obviously, Nick Saban coaching Tua would facilitate with a smooth transition to a Bill Belichick, along with that system, along with the willingness to protect the quarterback by helping him get rid of the ball more expeditiously. I think those things would work for Tua and I think Tua’s talents would work for Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels. I’d love to see New England pull that off. Don’t think they will, but I’d love to see it.”
We have a feeling Nick Wright didn’t make it all the way through Smith’s dialogue. The “First Things First” host, who’s clearly been waiting for the downfall of the Patriots dynasty for some time, can’t even stomach the idea of Tua Tagovailoa landing in New England.