We look in-depth at whether Tua Tagovoiloa can really be the face of the franchise and the future for the Miami Dolphins!
This offseason the Miami Dolphins went into the 2020 NFL draft with 14 picks available (including three in the first round) which is unheard of. They ended up making 11 selections over the course of the three-day event but the one most people were excited (or upset) about was the 5th overall pick in the draft.
Tua Tagovailoa became national news in his freshman year after he came off the bench to replace Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback) in the CFP National Championship game to win the Crimson Tide yet another National Title. He would follow this up in his sophomore year throwing for 3,966 yards, 43 touchdowns to just six interceptions.
Coming out of college Tua wasn’t quite as hot a prospect as he had been the year before mainly due to a really bad injury to, one which many were concerned he would not recover fully from. However, leading up to the draft, at pro days he proved he was back to top mobility levels.
‘With the 5th pick in the NFL draft the Miami Dolphins select, Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama’.
Coming from being around a few Dolphins fans I know, there were mixed feelings about this pick. Some felt like he was the best choice and a guy that could have been a higher selection if he had stayed fit. Others felt like he was only made to look good by the weapons around him at Alabama and he wasn’t a franchise-level quarterback. One thing is for certain, he was extremely fruitful when it came to jersey sales ranking top-5 in the league. Would this transfer onto the field though?
Many thought Tua would sit his first season to learn as Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Miami Dolphins with an inexperienced offence. After a 3-3 start the dolphins decided to put Tagovailoa in for the week 7 game against the Rams. The Dolphins won 28-17, however, this was down to the defence playing lights out and causing multiple turnovers. Tua would only have 93 yards passing with a touchdown, but crucially, no mistakes. Over the next two weeks, he would continue this trend and throw for a combined 407 yards and four touchdowns before things started to get worrying. Week 11, they played the Denver Broncos (a three-win team) and Tua just couldn’t move the ball on offence. He had just 83 passing yards in the fourth quarter and was benched for the remainder of the game. He would return the next four weeks putting up 1,000 yards, five TDs and two INTs before running into trouble again in week 16. The Dolphins were down 16-13 going into the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders with Tua only managing 94 yards and a single TD. Fitzpatrick came in and threw for 182 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter to win the Dolphins the game. Questions were starting to be asked before the season finale, the Dolphins were win and in for the playoffs and Tua was named the starter against a Bills team that is flying. The Dolphins offence struggled, only putting up 13 points, Tua threw three interceptions and this time the league’s number one defence couldn’t stop the Bills from scoring, meaning it ended 56-26.
Tua’s stats for the season weren’t horrific reading by any stretch, having a 64.1% completion percentage, 1,814 yards, 11 TDs and five Interceptions over 10 games but he didn’t exactly light it up and really struggled to score points in an offence that wasn’t exactly lacking weapons. Now you could point to the fact there was no offseason, no preseason games and the fact he was a rookie but that didn’t stop Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert from balling out. Many fans believe that with a year under his belt he will be the future in Miami but he really struggled to read the game at times this year and a lot of his throws were overthrows or misreads which has some people saying the Dolphins should try again to draft another quarterback in the draft like the Cardinals did with Kyler Murray.
Thanks to the Texan,s they now have the third pick in the 2021 draft and they can focus on offence with the defence pretty much in place already. Then we can get a real judge next year and see if Tua Tagovailoa is the future in Miami or not.
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