After All That, Tua Lands in the Perfect Spot

The uncertainty surrounding the Alabama QB defined what was the most unusual draft season ever. And in the end, he landed with a Dolphins organization that has shown the patience needed to develop him properly.
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Tua Tagovailoa, for better and worse, has embodied the uncertainty of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Long believed to be the best quarterback in the class before an injury-plagued finish to his collegiate career plus the rise of Joe Burrow, he had to result to a guerilla marketing campaign of sorts to sway the decision-makers doubting the long-term viability of his surgically repaired hip. From a private pro day video to numerous pre-draft nuggets about his movement and flexibility, it seemed Tagovailoa had some convincing to do.

As it turned out, his “fall” only lasted four picks, and he landed in the perfect place. In Miami, Tagovailoa has a chance to heal behind a veteran quarterback and allow a roster that is still forming into a competitive unit take shape. Playing for a team that has already accepted a more pragmatic approach to their teardown and rebuild, there’s a chance Tagovailoa never has to endure the same chaotic rookie season that most quarterbacks endure, thrown onto the field with a threadbare roster and a coaching staff short on ideas.

He was the draft’s biggest mystery, believed to land anywhere between the third pick and the 23rd, signifying just how scattershot projecting the field had become. Yet, the pick feels like kismet for the former Alabama star, who should fit perfectly into an offense designed by coordinator Chan Gailey, which highlights and rewards the short and mid-range accuracy Tagovailoa flashed during his starring years at Alabama.

In many ways, the Dolphins’ long-term vision allowed all of this to come together. In a typical regime, a Year Two coach who struggled in his first season would already be feeling the pressure and could be less inclined to take a quarterback who may not be able to take the field right away. Instead, they seem to be planning on it and have plenty of draft equity to prepare for the moment Tagovailoa is ready.

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