LA Chargers: Grading every possible first round pick

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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

With the sixth pick, the LA Chargers select…

Tua Tagovailoa. 6. 829. . Quarterback

What happens in the first five picks will obviously affect the Chargers no matter what, but no player makes that sentiment more true than Tagovailoa. A lot of reporting has the Dolphins now passing on him, which seems crazy when remembering how potent the idea of tanking for him was.

It’s hard to know which reports are smoke and which reports are how Miami truly feels about Tagovailoa. If Miami does take Herbert or goes in another direction in general, he’ll be on the board for the Chargers at six.

The biggest question is his durability. Tagovailoa’s medicals and physicals all look clean now. NFL general managers wonder about how long he’ll hold up though. Front offices will make their decision on Tagovailoa based on how they seem him holding up over the next decade, especially if they’re spending such a high pick on him.

If the Chargers aren’t fazed by his injury history, there’s a lot of positives to his game. Tagovailoa threw for 71% completion on 11.3 yards per attempt. That’s absurd, even considering the receivers he had. Not many quarterbacks can be that efficient on the deep ball at the college level. His accuracy, processing, and footwork are all tremendous.

One of the weaknesses that Tagovailoa has is a tendency to misread backfield coverages. This was pretty evident in the 2019 title game vs. Clemson. It’s not a huge problem when looking at his whole Alabama tenure, but it does happen sometimes.

The last thing I’ll say about Tagovailoa in reference to injuries is that it’s mostly about luck. Unfortunately for him, his injuries were really apparent in his season before the draft. Football is a violent game with unlucky circumstances.

Herbert broke his collarbone in his sophomore season and broke his femur in high school. No one uses the term injury-prone about him. Even if there’s a higher risk with Tagovailoa having sustained injuries before, it’s still worth the chance with his talent. Quarterbacks can get hurt on any play.

Grade: A-