We are around 30 hours out from the NFL draft. It's the most excited I've ever been for an NFL draft, which makes sense considering life is meaningless now without sports.
The biggest question of the draft will be where the QBs will end up. If you told me this time last year that Joe Burrow would be the #1 pick, I would've laughed. If you told me there is discussion of Tua dropping out of the top 10? I would've laughed even more.
Maybe it's just media networks trying to add some drama into the NFL draft, but I've been seeing a lot of reports on Tua's draft status dropping. This has led me to ask the question to myself: is Tua currently being underrated?
What did Tua do from this time last year to today that has made him not as good of a prospect? It could be his hip injury. All indications from him seem that his hip is completely recovered and he will be ready to play in 2020, so I'm writing this blog under the assumption all medical evaluations done on his hip indicate that he will be fine.
You could point to other "durability" concerns throughout his Alabama career, but I would chalk that up to bad luck more than anything. His two ankle injuries came on plays where he was rolled up on. Any ankle would've been sprained.
The other issue Tua supposedly has is his height and being a lefty. The left-handed thing is more of an "issue" than his height in my opinion. Building your offensive line around a left-handed QB with durability concerns does knock Tua a little bit (if he is injured, the backup QB who will come in is most likely right-handed. When you've built your OL around your RT being the blindside tackle, this could cause an issue. It's not THAT big of a concern, but is definitely weighed into a decision). On his height? The guy is just below 6'1. He is taller than Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. He'll be fine. He isn't 5'5.
Tua's time at Alabama was phenomenal. His arm isn't electrifying, but it does more than get the job done. He throws his receivers open and has phenomenal pocket presence. He reads the field like a HOF PG.
He's remarkably efficient. He ranked 1st in QBR in 2019 and 2nd in 2018, only behind Kyler Murray.
Tua was doing this against top defenses too. He wasn't playing in the MAC East. He is one of the best QBs CFB has ever seen. Look what he did against a very good LSU defense, while playing on an injured ankle!
Burrow being the #1 pick is a no brainer, but Tua is your #2 QB in this draft. The guys who will be making the decisions tomorrow night have 10000x more intel and knowledge than I do, but I believe there may be a little bit of paralysis by analysis going on. The same goes for some media members. It's Burrow. Tua. Herbert. I've even seen some suggest they'd rather take a chance on Jordan Love. Disgusting.
The two draft analysts I respect most (outside of Steven Cheah) are Matt Miller and Daniel Jeremiah. Both have Tua at #6 on their big board. That's where he should be and if I was a team that drafted him, I'd be very excited for the future.