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Tua Tagovailoa Drafted by Dolphins: Miami's Updated Depth Chart After Round 1

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 24, 2020

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 09: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass during the second half against the LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 9, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will be entrusted with the keys to the Miami Dolphins franchise after going fifth overall in the 2020 NFL draft on Thursday.

Tagovailoa tossed 87 touchdown passes to just 11 interceptions during a stellar career with Alabama that also included a 2017 national championship. The left-hander came off the bench in the 2017 title game for starter Jalen Hurts to lead the Crimson Tide to a comeback win over Georgia.

Tagovailoa was the Crimson Tide's starter for all of 2018, completing 69 percent of his passes for 43 scores and just six picks. Alabama lost to Clemson in the national championship.

His 2019 season ended prematurely after a hip dislocation suffered against Mississippi State in November. Still, Tagovailoa excelled during his time on the field with 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also completed 71.4 percent of his passes.

Here's a look at how Tagovailoa fits into Miami's depth chart as it stands following the selection, as well as more notes on the draft's No. 5 overall pick.

     

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Depth Chart

QB - Tua Tagovailoa, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen

RB - Jordan Howard, Kalen Ballage

WR 1 - DeVante Parker

WR 2 - Allen Hurns

WR 3 - Albert Wilson, Ricardo Louis

TE - Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe

LT - Julie'n Davenport

LG - Ereck Flowers, Shaq Calhoun

C - Ted Karras

RG - Michael Deiter, Danny Isidora

RT - Austin Jackson, Jesse Davis

         

LDE - Shaq Lawson, Emmanuel Ogbah

NT - Davon Godchaux

RDE - Christian Wilkins, Taco Charlton

OLB - Vince Biegel, Andrew Van Ginkel

ILB - Raekwon McMillan, Kamu Grugier-Hill

ILB - Elandon Roberts, Jerome Baker

OLB - Kyle Van Noy, Charles Harris

CB - Xavien Howard, Cordrea Tankersley

CB - Byron Jones, Nik Needham

FS - Adrian Colbert

SS Eric Rowe, Clayton Fejedelem

    

Depth chart info provided by Ourlads and Over the Cap.

     

Tagovailoa stands 6'1" and 218 pounds. He's perhaps slightly undersized for the position, but that hasn't stopped some of the game's greatest signal-callers from dominating the NFL.

Matt Miller of Bleacher Report compared Burrow to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

"Below-average height; accurate; wins on roll-outs; climbs the pocket; beautiful touch," Miller wrote.

Joe Marino of the Draft Network wrote the following:

"Tua Tagovailoa features a skill set that translates wonderfully to the style of offense that productive NFL teams employ. His quick processing skills, trigger, accuracy and ability to remain comfortable under duress are exceptional qualities that give him a great chance to succeed at the next level."

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compared Tagovailoa to former Jacksonville Jaguars great Mark Brunell.

"Talented dual-threat quarterback with winning background, explosive production and loads of experience in high-leverage games. He may be pigeon-holed into a spread or RPO-heavy attack, but he's actually a clean fit in a pro-style attack filled with play-action and roll-outs. He has the release, accuracy and touch needed to work all three levels successfully and can become a more disciplined, full-field reader to piece the puzzle together against NFL coverages."

Tagovailoa's biggest concerns may be an injury history that includes the aforementioned hip ailment as well as ankle problems that plagued him in 2018 and 2019, but he's received a clean bill of health. Mike Jones of USA Today had more on April 2:

Tagovailoa on Thursday participated in a voluntary medical recheck that was conducted by an independent doctor working in conjunction with the NFL scouting combine, his agent, Leigh Steinberg, confirmed to USA Today Sports. The exam took place in Nashville and the findings revealed that the quarterback's surgically repaired hip is structurally sound, Steinberg said.

Any fears that a team would be gun-shy to take Tagovailoa sans a team physical in light of traveling restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been assuaged. Now, Miami hopes the exciting NFL draft prospect could bring the franchise to the promised land.

The Dolphins ended last year on a high note, collected a haul in free agency and have a boatload of draft picks in 2020, so the time is now for Miami to take a leap forward and become a perennial playoff contender under second-year head coach Brian Flores.

One thing they were lacking, though, was a clear long-term answer at quarterback until the addition of Tagovailoa, who could find himself starting from day one as he attempts to lead a reloaded team back to the playoffs.

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