2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa

HEIGHT: 6-0 / WEIGHT: 217 / COLLEGE: Alabama / CLASS: Junior

2019 STATS (9 GAMES): 180/252, 71.4%, 2,840 yards, 11.3 YPA, 33 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 206.9 RATE

CAREER STATS (32 GAMES): 474/684, 69.3%, 7,442 yards, 10.9 YPA, 87 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 199.4 RATE

GAMES WATCHED (24): Every start (2018, 2019).

40 BENCH VERT BROAD 3 CONE 20S 60S

SIZE/PHYSICAL TRAITS (5/5)

  • Adequate height and build for the quarterback position
  • Exceeds hand size threshold (10″)

ACCURACY/BALL PLACEMENT (22.5/25)

  • Good short and intermediate accuracy (0-19 yards)
  • Excellent deep accuracy (20+ yards)
  • Good ball placement — consistently leads receivers to YAC and protects them from big hits
  • Impressive accuracy rate under pressure
  • Accurate passer on the move rolling to either side
  • Superb touch passer
  • Talented off-platform thrower

ARM STRENGTH/VELOCITY (11.25/15)

  • Strong enough arm to make all of the required NFL throws when he has a sound throwing platform
  • Adequate arm power to hit receivers 50-55 yards down the field
  • Gets good zip on passes in the short-to-intermediate range and on deep throws of 40-50ish yards if it’s a pretty straight shot and not a far hash throw
  • Lacks ideal drive velocity for deep downfield throws and far sideline throws like comebacks and deep outs
  • Generates good velocity as a passer on the move

MENTAL PROCESSING (17/20)

  • Good pre- and post-snap field vision
  • Full-field reader who gets through progressions quickly
  • Good at spotting vulnerabilities in the coverage based on pre-snap alignment
  • Strong blitz recognition — consistently makes necessary adjustment whether it’s hitting his hot read, sliding the protection or tucking the ball and running
  • Good decision-maker — boasts an 87:11 career touchdown-to-interception ratio and it’s not due to a risk-averse style of play; showed more of a willingness to check down and demonstrated better discretion when looking for aggressive downfield shots in 2019
  • Had some lapses in vision/decision-making where he failed to recognize late coverage rotations or didn’t account for the robber/backside zone coverage defender (2018 Georgia and Clemson games and 2019 LSU game)
  • Strong anticipatory passer — regularly releases the ball before receivers get out of their breaks; makes throws to spots where windows will appear
  • Has shown an ability to make own sight adjustments at the line of scrimmage
  • Pretty good internal clock — doesn’t typically hold the ball longer than he needs to; generally knows when to escape the pocket

POCKET PRESENCE (15/15)

  • Excellent pocket mobility and awareness — feels backside pressure very well and climbs, sidesteps or escapes the pocket to keep plays alive
  • Great poise under pressure — maintains calm demeanor in collapsing pockets, doesn’t flinch when defenders are closing in and rarely compromises throwing mechanics
  • Very good at keeping his eyes up when he feels pressure

MECHANICS (4.5/5)

  • Quick, tight, over-the-shoulder release
  • Smooth drop footwork and balanced hitch steps allow him to stay in rhythm
  • Can speed up his process when he needs to without compromising fundamentals under pressure
  • Could do a better job with ball security — needs to make sure he keeps two hands on the ball at all times before throwing it to decrease the risk of strip-sacks

MOBILITY (4/5)

  • Good scrambler
  • Great escapability
  • Fairly elusive in the open field
  • Has enough speed to pick up first downs against man coverage and can be utilized on designed QB runs
  • Above average top-end speed for a QB (est. 4.75 40)

INTANGIBLES (10/10)

  • Two-year starter
  • Incredibly productive
  • Toughness — played through knee and ankle injuries during 2018 College Football Playoffs
  • Football IQ — showed mastery of two different offenses at Alabama
  • Gets nothing but rave reviews for character and leadership ability from coaches and teammates at Alabama
  • Came in as a substitute for a struggling Jalen Hurts in the 2018 National Championship Game and led the Crimson Tide to a win as a true freshman

RED FLAGS (-1)

  • Concerning injury history — battled knee and high ankle sprains during 2018 season; also suffered a second high ankle sprain, a dislocated hip and a broken nose in 2019 (all of which required surgeries)

OVERALL GRADE: 88.25/100.00 — 1ST ROUND — Instant starter; good player with Pro Bowl Potential

NFL COMPARISON: Russell Wilson-lite

SCHEME FIT: West Coast Offense may be ideal, but he can fit any scheme

DRAFT PROJECTION: Top-5 pick

Tua Tagovailoa is a high-floor, high-ceiling quarterback prospect with great accuracy, pocket presence, off-script playmaking ability and intangibles. His arm strength is average by NFL quarterback standards, but he makes up for it with superior timing, anticipation and accuracy. His feel for the game is really impressive considering his age and experience level, and he should only improve as he gains more starting experience. With improved eye discipline and post-snap coverage recognition, Tagovailoa could develop into a top-10 NFL quarterback and perennial Pro Bowl selection.

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