Tua Tagovailoa is a Miami Dolphins quarterback but history is not on his side.
If there is one thing we can learn from the NFL Draft is that history often repeats itself and Tua Tagovailoa needs to be an exception and part of those lessons.
There are 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL and at some point, Tua Tagovailoa is going to be one of them. Getting there will be easy, succeeding is another thing entirely. While Tagovailoa may have all the intangibles to succeed, the NFL has eaten many a quarterback over the years.
When we look back at this draft class in four or five years, where will Tagovailoa rank among the other three quarterbacks taken in round one this year? Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, and Jordan Love are all hoping to find more than average success in the NFL. It is rare that more than one or two from each class work out.
Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones seem to have a leg up on Dwayne Haskins from the 2019 class and it is anyone’s guess as to who succeeds from the 2018 class where Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson are fighting it out. Jackson seems to have a better supporting group around him while Josh Rosen, seems to be in line for yet another team at some point.
Tua Tagovailoa is one of 32 quarterbacks drafted in round one the last decade.
Since 2011, 32 quarterbacks have been drafted in the first round. 22 teams have drafted a quarterback in the first round during that time. Miami has drafted two, Tagovailoa and Ryan Tannehill in 2012. The Browns have tried three times to find a starting quarterback but only Mayfield was drafted in the top 10, he went number one overall.
As for Tagovailoa, success in the NFL is dependant on more than just talent. He needs a strong team around him. He needs adequate protection and more importantly, he needs good coaching and faith from those coaches.
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Tagovailoa showed his talent at Alabama but many top QB prospects have found failure at the next level. The good news is that since 2011, most of the QB prospects who came into the draft and were expected to succeed have done so thus far. At least those who were considered close to can’t miss.
These would be players like DeShaun Watson, Andrew Luck, and Cam Newton. Others have succeeded but were not considered can’t miss, guys like Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. In between, there are a lot of average quarterbacks, below average QBs, and still some younger guys hoping to also buck the failure trends.
The NFL is not kind to the QB but Tagovailoa really only needs to curb the health issues and if he can do that, he is in a system with coaches that are capable of getting him in a position to win.
One thing is certain, Tagovailoa has more support than any quarterback in Miami since Dan Marino and that will also go a long way to not become an NFL statistic in a bad way.