One year ago, the Tua Tagovailoa versus Mac Jones debate would be thought of as insane. Tagovailoa was considered one of the top five players in the 2020 NFL Draft and a surefire star. On the other hand, Jones was a backup quarterback for Alabama, who looked rather pedestrian when forced to come in for an injured Tagovailoa. Fast forward a year and this is a legitimate debate. Tagovailoa had a subpar rookie season in a league that lacks patience. Evaluators have started to question those lofty grades he was given. Tagovailoa isn’t overly big, he lacks an elite arm and he played with one of the most dominant offenses in college football over the course of his career. Was he the one being elevated by his supporting cast? Those are all valid concerns, as Tagovailoa had to get bailed out by Ryan Fitzpatrick on numerous occasions during his rookie season. That was a playoff team in Miami and quite frankly, had Fitzpatrick started the entire season for them, they probably would have made it.
Those same question marks will be considered when evaluating Jones. He doesn’t possess an elite arm, lacks the same ball placement Tagovailoa possesses and was also surrounded by a strong supporting cast.
Even with many of the same concerns, having Jones as the better prospect seemed to be considered a hot take. That doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms came out with his quarterback rankings recently and had Jones ranked as the number three quarterback overall in the class. Simms had Tagovailoa at four in a lesser class last year. Simms may not stick with the consensus but his quarterback rankings have been pretty spot on over the past few years.
To add insult to injury for the Tagovailoa truthers, both DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle said they prefer Jones over him. That could just be that Jones is draft-eligible this season and they want to hype up their teammate who hasn’t been drafted yet. There could be a lot of meanings behind what they said. They most likely are trying to help out a teammate but could it be that Tagovailoa may have been overrated and people looked past his average traits?
Tagovailoa is still young and was coming off a serious injury. To knock a quarterback after a few mediocre performances is wrong but the Dolphins have a chance to make amends picking third overall in April. If things go the way they should, Jones will be staring them in the face at pick three. With Lawrence and Wilson off the board, is it time to move on from Tua and try again at the quarterback position? It worked out for the Cardinals a few years ago.
The one thing Dolphins fans should be hoping for no matter what, is they come out of the 2021 draft with their quarterback position addressed. If they feel Tagovailoa is the right fit to lead them to the Super Bowl, then they should invest in the picks to get him the weapons. If they think Tagovailoa isn’t that guy, then selecting a quarterback is the only other option.
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