2020 NFL Mock Draft: Bengals Taking Tua Tagovailoa, Not Joe Burrow?
The Cincinnati Bengals have the first overall pick in the looming 2020 NFL Draft. Up to this point, the only thing the organization knows for sure is that it needs a new quarterback.
Who that quarterback will be remains to be seen.
To date, most have assumed that the Bengals would end up using their top selection on Heisman winning LSU star Joe Burrow. It would certainly make sense if they did, given the year that he just had.
Interestingly enough, though, one NFL analyst recently suggested that they may do something a little different.
Instead of taking Burrow with the top pick, he suggested, they could take Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa.
Tagovailoa was widely considered one of the best quarterbacks in all of college football right up until the moment he suffered a season-ending hip injury.
From that point forward, questions about his recovery and tendency to get hurt began to linger.
Many assumed that those things would preclude him from being a top overall pick.
Bucky Brooks disagrees. In a piece for NFL.com, he suggested that Tagovailoa’s game is actually better suited for where the NFL is headed these days than Burrow’s is.
Pointing to the rise of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Baltimore Ravens MVP Lamar Jackson, Brooks believes that Tagovailoa’s playing style is the way games will be won going forward – not Burrow’s.
“Tagovailova is the most talented QB1 in the class with a game that’s eerily similar to a left-handed version of Drew Brees,” he said.
“Despite an injury history that could make some decision-makers pause, Tagovailova’s A-plus arm talent, athleticism and intangibles make him an intriguing option as a franchise quarterback.”
What is interesting about this analysis is that it seems to ignore quite a few factors.
First and foremost, Burrow is also a tremendous dual threat. He proved time and again during the College Football Playoff that he knew how to keep defenses honest on his feet.
Secondly, Tagovailoa’s health is still a huge question mark. He has not participated in any action since his midseason injury. Although he says recovery is going well, nobody knows that for certain.
Finally, even before Tagovailoa got hurt, Burrow was thoroughly outplaying him in 2019. It was somewhat close if you casually observed both, sure, but Burrow was still clearly the better quarterback.
While Tagovailoa is a good prospect and odds are high that he will make whoever drafts him better, Burrow is a generational talent. If the Bengals pass on him, it will likely go down as one of the worst decisions any franchise has ever made.