QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama*

6’1” – 210 lbs.

Served as the backup to Jalen Hurts as a true freshman, ending up passing for 636 yards (63.6%) and eleven touchdowns to two interceptions on the season, most famously taking over for Hurts in the second half of the national championship and leading Alabama to victory. Took over as the team’s starting quarterback the following year and threw for 3,966 yards (69.0%), 43 touchdowns, and six interceptions, then saw his junior season end after nine games, suffering a dislocated hip and posterior wall fracture; finished the year with 2,840 yards (71.4%), 33 touchdowns, and three interceptions. Left-handed passer who played under different coordinators each season; the 2019 offense under Steve Sarkasian added more west-coast concepts, while in 2018 the team opened up the offense significantly and incorporated more run-pass options under Michael Locksley. On the smaller side for a pro quarterback, and his injury history will magnify the concerns teams have about that. Operated out of the shotgun, making drops and occasionally rolling out; was not limited to just three-step drops. Footwork could stand to be cleaned up a bit, but goes through his drop very quickly. Demonstrates the ability to climb the pocket, transfer weight, and throw from a wide base, although at times he can rely on his arm strength, throwing from a narrower base. Generally does a good job of setting his feet before throwing when on the move. Has a little bit of a windup to his three-quarters delivery, but makes quick decisions with the ball; went to checkdowns/second reads at times, but many of his throws were predetermined. Overall arm talent is very impressive. Gets excellent velocity on the ball, throws a tight spiral, and is capable of powering passes through tight windows. Very accurate passer overall, who is capable of throwing frozen ropes at the intermediate and deep levels of the field; can also drop passes in the bucket with touch. Looks accurate while on the move as well. Timing, velocity, and placement give his receivers opportunities to rack up yards after the catch on screens, swings, and rhythm-based throws. Threw just nine interceptions over twenty-four starts, although at times he can be a little bit of a gunslinger, putting a lot of faith in his arm while throwing across his body or into tight windows. Willing to stand and deliver in the face of oncoming pressure. Looks like a pretty good athlete, but has a pass-first mentality and tends to flee the pocket only if necessary. Came into this season as the favorite to go number one overall, but his hip injury and Joe Burrow’s outstanding season put an end to that speculation. That said, has rare arm talent and still looks like a solid bet to be one of the first players off the board.

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