When the careers of this past drafts QB’s settle, Tua Tagovailoa will be linked to the other two.
Tua Tagovailoa is the savior of the Miami Dolphins if you don’t already know that to be true but when his career is over, Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow will be his comparison.
Dan Marino is often compared to players like Peyton Manning or Brett Favre. Johnny Unitus and Joe Montana. Rarely do you hear Marino talked about with names like Terry Bradshaw or Steve Young, or Troy Aikman. In reality, though, Marino is linked to the other QB’s taken in the 1983 draft.
John Elway, Jim Kelly, Tony Eason, and Ken O’Brien. No one really remembers Todd Blackledge. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have battled it out for years, as has Brady and Drew Brees for NFL records the last few years but mention Manning and you also hear Ryan Leaf. Say Eli Manning and you might think Phillip Rivers.
The point is that quarterbacks especially are often compared to those QB’s drafted in the same year. Ryan Tannehill, Robert Griffen, III, Andrew Luck, and Russell Wilson all are typically mentioned together when talking about draft positions.
Tagovailoa will be no different. Miami fans hope that he will be compared to the greats of the game, the Marino’s, Manning’s, and Brees’ of the NFL but he will also be compared to Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert as well. Perhaps, in the end, Jordan Love too will be a top talking point in the future.
Burrow was not in Miami’s control and the Dolphins would have had to make an incredible one-time offer to the Bengals that would have forever changed how teams compensate for the first overall pick. Miami blew their chance at number one by winning five games in 2019. That will be the talking point in the future if Burrow turns out better than Tagovailoa.
Herbert on the other hand was in Miami’s grasp. They chose Tagovailoa over Herbert who went a pick later. Obviously, an injury will be something watched when Tagovailoa is discussed and while he may have a long HOF type career, he could as so many other QBs do, find himself out of the league due to injury. That is a worst-case scenario and if it happens, no one will fault Miami for swinging for the fences. Tagovailoa has more upside than Herbert.
Comparing the three will be something fans will do for the entirety of their careers.
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But if all things turn out equal these three players are forever linked together by draft status alone. If the Bengals win more games behind Burrow in 2020 than Miami does, some will question why Miami didn’t move up. This is especially true if Tagovailoa plays in 2020. The same will be said about the Chargers from their fans if Herbert is outshined by Tagovailoa. They will want to know why the Chargers didn’t pull the trigger and trade up with the Lions.
To be honest, none of it really matters. It’s all in fun to watch and compare and all three are in a position to elevate their teams to a different level. In fact, hopefully, they all do. It would make the by-lines of their careers so much more fun to follow.