Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the answer for Detroit

  • 2020 NFL Draft
  • Alabama Football
  • Bob Quinn
  • Detroit Lions
  • Matthew Stafford
  • Nick Saban
  • Tua Tagovailoa
By Nick Holz April 8, 2020 0 Comment
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Tua Tagovailoa represents the Detroit Lions chance at resurrecting a dormant franchise. Detroit should draft Tua third overall in the 2020 NFL Draft

Detroit Lions fans have been deprived of a reason to cheer for far too long. A decrepit franchise for the majority of the 21st century, the city needs a reason to believe. Betting on Matthew Stafford to lead this team to the promised land, at this stage of his career, is a pipe dream. Lions General Manager Bob Quinn should sprint the selection of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to the (virtual) podium and never look back.

Tua Tagovailoa is, without a doubt, a franchise quarterback. Under the tutelage of the great Nick Saban at Alabama, Tua has been a part of one of the most successful college football programs of All-Time. He brings with him all the necessary abilities to become a game-changing player in the NFL.

With the depth of talent surrounding him in college, Tagovailoa was often asked to simply play point guard. Tua was tasked with delivering the football, fluidly, to his explosive supporting cast. However,  22-year old from Ewa Beach, Hawaii has the potential to be so, so much more. In fact, at the next level, he will often have to improvise to keep his team afloat.

Tagovailoa is a crisp pocket passer, with outstanding footwork, and ideal movement skills. He displays the poise to evade pass rushers and whip passes downfield with precision accuracy. Tua delivers the football on time, and with anticipation of his receivers’ route concepts. He demonstrates a thorough grasp of the Alabama offense, and his strong recognition skills will serve him well in the NFL.

Matthew Stafford is unreliable

At this point in his career, Matthew Stafford is no longer the quarterback Detroit should trust. Stafford has had an illustrious run, throwing for over 41,000 yards and 256 touchdowns. However, his stupendous play has never been enough to lead the Lions deep into the playoffs, and that fact is unlikely to change now. Stafford is 32 years old, and despite his gaudy statistical totals, 28 comebacks, and 34 game-winning drives, has never been a top-five quarterback in the NFL.

While he’s been the picture of durability for the majority of his career, the childhood friend of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw missed eight games last year with a fractured back. Given that Stafford’s play has been declining since the Lions last playoff berth in 2017, it’s unlikely he returns to form. Although Stafford has rarely performed like an elite quarterback in the NFL, he’s certainly been paid like one. The Texas native has made over 200 million dollars in his eleven-year career. Nothing is stopping Stafford from, in the same vein as Andrew Luck last year, waking up in the summer of 2021 and deciding that he no longer wishes to lace up his cleats.

The value of the quarterback position remains unmatched

Of course, consensus Lions target Jeffrey Okudah is a fantastic talent. The corner out of Ohio State possesses the speed and length to become a receiver’s worst nightmare in the NFL. He has all of the explosiveness and technique a general manager could ask for, and by all accounts is a dream to coach. Okudah could very well develop into a shutdown corner. He may harry and harass receivers for the next decade. That being said, Okudah is no Patrick Peterson.

Peterson, the LSU standout, was drafted fifth overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 2011. His Cardinals have gone on to win a grand total of one (1) playoff game since. Arizona has been a ship without a rudder for most of the last decade. Outside of an aging Carson Palmer, the role of Cardinals starting quarterback has been a revolving door for years. It merely illustrates the importance of top tier quarterback play in today’s NFL. There’s a reason the Cardinals took Kyler Murray first overall in 2019, after having already selected Josh Rosen with a top ten pick the year before. Teams without a talented point man are doomed to fail.

Bob Quinn needs to take an innovative approach to build his football team

Instead, the Lions should use the third overall selection with an eye on the future. Tua Tagovailoa is the quintessential archetype of a modern quarterback. Coming from a winning program in Alabama, his addition immediately changes the mindset of every player in the Lions locker room. Tagovailoa can inject life into the franchise, and spark a resurgence in the same way Deshaun Watson has for the Houston Texans. The third overall selection can sit and learn from Stafford next season, before taking the reins himself in 2021. Tua is, unequivocally, the answer in Detroit.

Detroit has been an antiquated franchise for nearly two decades. They were listlessly toiling through losing season after losing season, without an end in sight. The franchise requires a true pioneer to lead them out of this slump, and into the modern NFL. It’s far time the team begins to take innovative action, rather than being last to the party. Tua would bring hope to an organization that, historically, has had little. Tua Tagovailoa is the savior the Detroit Lions have longed for. Right now, we could all use a little bit more hope.

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