On April 23rd, the Miami Dolphins selected Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the 5th pick in the NFL Draft. With this pick, the Dolphins hope they finally found their franchise quarterback. Tagovailoa might have even gone first overall if it wasn’t for him breaking his hip six months earlier as well as LSU QB Joe Burrow breaking out having one of the best collegiate seasons we have seen in a long time.
In his three years at Alabama he threw for 7,442 yards for 87 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Watching Tua play, he reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers in terms of arm strength and releasing the ball. Also, like Rodgers, Tua can roll out and scramble out of the pocket if needed. Tua’s biggest strengths is his ability to throw the deep ball as well as his quick release. Those traits are very important for a QB in the NFL especially since the Dolphins had one of the worst offensive lines in the league last season. The best offensive lineman last year for the Dolphins was Daniel Kilgore who had a pass block win rating at 146th best compared to 171 eligible offensive lineman. However, the Dolphins acquired Ted Karras and Ereck Flowers in the offseason. The Dolphins also drafted two offensive lineman (tackle Austin Jackson and guard Robert Hunt) in the first two rounds. The Dolphins also added Matt Breida and Jordan Howard for additional help in the backfield. It is clear the Dolphins are building the team and offense around Tua and rightfully so.
However, who knows when Tua even takes the field for his debut. The Dolphins currently have journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen on their roster. Fitzpatrick is a serviceable quarterback who can not only teach and mentor Tua, but also hold the fort down until Tua is ready to take the field. If I had to take a guess I would expect to see Tua first take the field Week 12 after their bye week at MetLife Stadium against the New York Jets. The Dolphins have no need to rush Tua since he is the future of the team and he has some injury concerns. Also, it is highly unlikely the Dolphins will make the playoffs next year anyway.
If Tagovailoa can succeed in Miami like he did in Alabama, he will have a bright future and a great career. In my opinion, I think he has the potential to be the best Dolphins QB since Dan Marino. The Dolphins have not had a great QB since Marino, and have historically been terrible since he retired. The Dolphins have had 20 quarterbacks take the field since Marino announced his retirement. Not one QB has been successful. I won’t name all of them but some notable ones are draft bust Joey Harrington, Ryan Tannehill, Jay Cutler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen, Brock Osweiler, and Chad Pennington just to name a few. Also, we cannot forget when Nick Saban and the Dolphins chose to sign Daunte Culpepper instead of future Hall of famer Drew Brees.
Someone has to step up to be the QB, Dolphins fans have wanted for over twenty years. The fans were ecstatic once Tua’s name was called. Many people, myself included, feel Tua will be the next great Dolphins QB. Already his teal jersey is the highest selling and his white jersey is the third highest selling.