Will Tua Tagovailoa start in 2020? A look at the last 15 years of the 2nd QB taken tells a story

2019 – Daniel Jones RD1 #6 (Kyler Murray #1)

2018 – Sam Darnold RD1 #3 (Baker Mayfield #1)

2017 – Patrick Mahomes RD1 #10 (Mitchell Trubisky #2)

2016 – Carson Wentz RD1 #2 (Jared Goff #1)

2015 – Marcus Mariota RD1 #2 (Jameis Winston #1)

2014 – Johnny Manziel RD1 #22 (Blake Bortles #3)

2013 – Geno Smith RD2 #22 (E.J. Manuel #16)

2012 – Robert Griffin III #2 (Andrew Luck #1)

2011 – Jake Locker RD1 #8 (Cam Newton #1)

2010 – Tim Tebow RD1 #25 (Sam Bradford #1)

2009 – Mark Sanchez RD1 #5 (Matthew Stafford #1)

2008 – Joe Flacco RD1 #18 (Matt Ryan #3)

2007 – Brady Quinn RD1 #22 (Jamarcus Russell #1)

2006 – Matt Leinart RD#1 #10 (Vince Young #3)

2005 – Aaron Rodgers RD1 #24 (Alex Smith #1)


So that’s the list of the second QB drafted in each of the last 15 drafts. What’s sometimes more surprising than where they were taken is who was the QB drafted before them and where they were taken. Geno Smith as the second QB taken all the way at pick #54, and E.J. Manuel was the only 1st RD QB in 2013. Patrick Mahomes at #10 8 picks later than Mitch Trubisky eh? There were only 3 years where QB’s went #1 and #2, 2016, 2015 and 2012. Just so you know, I don’t believe this shows any more scientific evidence, but it’s interesting to look at the past, which sometimes reveals the future. I also understand that 15 years ago, the NFL was a different game than the 2020 version but the interesting thing is how much money these first round players were getting paid. We know it all changed after Sam Bradford was drafted #1 in 2010 and signed the most lucrative rookie contract ever in the NFL, 6 YR/$78M with $50M Guaranteed. Aaron Rodgers who slid to #24 in 2005 signed a 5 YR/$7.65M contract.

Let’s start from 2005 and we’ll work our way back to the present. Aaron Rodgers waited 3 full seasons before his 1st start with Brett Favre as the starter. Matt Leinart started after 5 games behind Kurt Warner and finished 4-7. Brady Quinn didn’t start until season 2 and started only 3 games behind Derek Anderson. Joe Flacco started immediately for a stacked Ravens team and went 11-5. Mark Sanchez started immediately for MTP and the Jets and finished 8-7. Tim Tebow started only 3 games but played a fair amount in 9 games although not necessarily as a passer. Jake Locker sat out his entire rookie season. RG III was damn well going to start after they traded a boatload of 1st RD picks for him and he was brilliant until he got injured. The only 2nd RD QB in this group, Geno Smith, started his entire rookie season but Matt Simms was their other QB (who?). Johnny Manziel started only 2 games and was just awful. Marcus Mariota started 12 games and played well but the Titans were pretty bad and they finished 3-9 in his starts. Carson Wentz started immediately and played well although the Iggles went 7-9. Patrick Mahomes started game 16 and won. He’s the guy I consider most similar with Tua. I’ll explain more later. Sam Darnold started 13 games, sat out the first 3 behind Josh McCown. Some may say this is the closest situation to Tua and Fitzpatrick and they might be right. Finally, Daniel Jones started after 4 games and played pretty well despite his 3-9 record.

Why do I think Tua/Fitzpatrick is most similar to Mahomes/Smith? I see 2 veteran QB’s who both have the respect of their HC. Fitzpatrick said it himself, he’ll help Tua in any way he can but Ryan Fitzpatrick wants to be the starting QB this season. Of course mitigating circumstances will no doubt affect how soon Tua starts and I’m not talking about Tua’s health, I’m talking the health of the nation and the Coronavirus pandemic. Having a virtual offseason is not doing Tua any favors. There are rumblings that teams may be able to start OTA’s in June but I fell that unless every single team and their respective states are able to open, that’s not going to happen. Cali is probably the linchpin because they are the least likely to be willing to open up and if they don’t, I don’t see any teams opening because you can’t have some teams working and others not, that takes away the whole parity theme the NFL is built on.

I’ve made it clear (w/o having any actual medical records for Tua) that I feel it would be best to let Ryan Fitzpatrick run this team and if there’s a point of the season where we’re out of it, and Tua is 100%, then I’m fine with giving him the reins, as long as the O-line isn’t a bunch of matadors. On the other hand, I really can’t imagine that he would start immediately, I think that would blow my mind. I want to see what Tua can do, I’m excited that we have arguably the most talented QB in this draft and the most talented QB we’ve had over the last 21 years since Dan Marino left the building. Still, I can’t help but feel that after that devastating hip injury, time will be Tua’s friend. We have so many new faces on our team and we could conceivably have 4-5 new starters on our O-line. Jackson LT, Flowers LG, Karras C, Hunt RG and Davis RT, that’s 4. Plug Kindley in at RG and Hunt at RT that’s 5. Think they might take some time to jell? I don’t want our new QB subjected to that kind of situation, no sir!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, let em rip!



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