Now that the 2020 NFL Draft is a distant memory, and Tua Tagovailoa has begun his work with the Miami Dolphins in their facilities, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what could have been. Tagovailoa ended his final season with the Alabama Crimson Tide as somewhat of a polarizing figure.
The former first-overall draft prospect had propelled serious narratives over the prior years as far as his future team was concerned (“Tank for Tua”). But since the draft’s passing, it seems everything has worked out as it was supposed to, and one radio host thinks that Tua’s injury was the best thing that could have happened to the Heisman winner.
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Colin Cowherd’s Take on Tua
Over the past week, as rumors of Tagovailoa’s arrival in Miami have come to fruition, some of the most popular minds in sports media have taken the opportunity to opine on the first-rounder’s future with his new team. And Colin Cowherd has made himself no exception.
On his FOX Sports Radio show “The Herd” on Tuesday, Cowherd made a compelling argument that if it had not been for Tagovailoa’s rare and horrific posterior wall tear last November, in a matchup against Mississippi State, the young quarterback’s future would look significantly different.
“First impressions are big. What would have been the first impression without a pandemic? Tua to the facility, among the world’s best athletes?” Cowherd wonders.
“Timing’s been everything for him. Think about college,” he says. “We’ve always looked at this injury as a negative for him. But if we’re talking about long-term, not short term, is it? Because of the injury, he was rated higher than Joe Burrow. Because of the injury, he drops. What does he drop to? Historically a better organization in Miami.”
Cowherd might be onto something. If Tua had been able to finish his season, the NCAA playoff picture might have looked very different. Joe Burrow might not have been a shoo-in for the No. 1 draft pick, and it could very well be Tagovailoa preparing to headline the Cincinnati Bengals roster for 2020.
He’s also dead-on in asserting that the AFC East is a far easier division to be a rookie in right now than the Burrow has it with the Bengals, who will play the Cleveland Browns, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and most fearsomely, the Baltimore Ravens, each twice this year.
Key Points to Success
There are many additional strong points to be made in the argument that favors Tagovailoa’s success this year in Miami, namely in his potential mentorship with veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will surely be an asset to his education. He’s also not lost any time while rehabbing, with players unable to enter facilities to begin practicing.
Furthermore, the Tank for Tua narrative has played out in a surprising fashion because of the injury, which has set the Dolphins up for even further success—they didn’t even have to trade up to get their guy.
“I just think it’s all working out for Tua,” says Cowherd. “I mean, listen, the injury’s not great. You wouldn’t have rooted for it. You wouldn’t have picked it if you didn’t have to. But in a weird way—divine intervention—the seas are kind of opening up for him. Everything’s kind of falling into place. And I think Miami’s gonna be a lot better than people think. And I think Tua’s gonna start a lot sooner than people think.”