Tua Tagovailoa cannot enter the NFL draft until 2020 at the earliest, but that has not stopped people from talking about his pro potential. One of the popular comparisons for Tagovailoa is Russell Wilson. Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy spoke with AL.com about why some NFL people see similarities between Tagovailoa and Wilson.
When he was getting recruited by Alabama, a lot of guys in their recruiting office, I was working for Seattle, and a lot of ‘em would say, ‘Oh, he’s a lot like your guy,’ meaning Russell Wilson…I think Tua’s got kind of the same dimensions from a body type perspective. Anytime as a scout that you’re making a comparison, it kind of starts there. They’re very similar athletes, but the one thing I think Tua does even better than Russ is that I think he anticipates throws better. He can really visualize a throw. Guys don’t have to be open. He sees openings before they happen, and those are things you can’t coach. So I think the NFL’s going to look at his skill set, and he does a lot of things that you can’t coach — see the field, throw accurately, be athletic. He’s got a really unique package.
Nagy is not the only one to make this comparison. NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks also saw the similarities after Tagovailoa’s performance in the 2018 national title game.
He flashed some quickness, balance and body control with the ball tucked under his arm that will remind some scouts of Russell Wilson on the move. While I’m not ready to proclaim the true freshman a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback, I do believe he possesses a lot of qualities that will lead to more comparisons to the Seahawks’ QB1 in time.
From his unflappable confidence, poise and composure to his pinpoint passing skills in the pocket or on the move, I feel like I saw much the same when I watched Wilson play at N.C. State and Wisconsin several years ago. Considering how Wilson has grown into a dynamic playmaker at the position in Seattle, I believe you’ll see the excitement build around Tagovailoa’s potential in the coming years.
Tagovailoa Potentially Finds Himself in a Crowded 2020 NFL Draft Quarterback Class With Justin Fromm & Justin Herbert
Tagovailoa will be a junior next season which makes him eligible for the 2020 NFL draft, but it will be up to the Alabama quarterback as to whether he declares. If he does, Tagovailoa will likely find himself in a crowded quarterback class. This is especially true now that Justin Herbert returned to Oregon for another season.
Georgia’s Jake Fromm is also a highly touted NFL prospect. All three quarterbacks are likely to be fighting for the distinction of the top quarterback in the 2020 class.
Some Believe Tagovailoa Would Be the First Quarterback Selected If He Was Eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft
Tagovailoa cannot declare for the 2019 draft, but some believe the Alabama quarterback would be the first signal caller taken if he was eligible for the upcoming draft. ESPN’s Todd McShay noted on The Dan Patrick Show he would likely be the first quarterback in the 2019 draft if was eligible.
“First round [in 2019 NFL draft] … I can’t say he’d be the first pick overall. The Giants are projected at 6 or 7…. I think he’d be the first quarterback taken. It would probably be the Giants,” McShay said on The Dan Patrick Show.