Tag Archives: Tua Tagovailoa

2021 NFL Draft Round 1, Recap

The 2021 NFL Draft’s first round is complete and the offensive players took much of the focus early. Five quarterbacks were selected in the draft’s first 15 selections. Later in the round, teams made sure that they took plenty of pass rushers to contend with some of the NFL’s high-powered offenses. In fact, defensive players comprised the final five picks of the first round. We look at each pick in our recap of the draft’s first night.

       
Round 1
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
1st overallJacksonville JaguarsTrevor Lawrence6’5 5/8” 213/QB-Clemson5/1st RoundLawrence's underrated athleticism works for an offense that already features a 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers.
2nd overallNew York JetsZach Wilson6’2 214/QB-BYU25/2nd RoundWilson could be a BYU mix of former Cougar standouts Jim McMahon and Steve Young.
3rd overallSan Francisco 49ersTrey Lance6’4 226/QB-North Dakota State34/2nd RoundLance goes to an offense that should spotlight his ability to operate on the edges or from inside the pocket.
4th overallAtlanta FalconsKyle Pitts6’6 245/TE-Florida10/1st RoundNew HC Arthur Smith adds to Ryan's vast array of weapons in hopes of recapturing MVP form.
5th overallCincinnati BengalsJa’Marr Chase6’0 201/WR-LSU12/1st RoundChase re-unites with his former Heisman QB in hopes of re-igniting their 2019 national championship rhythm.
6th overallMiami DolphinsJaylen Waddle5’9 1/2” 180/WR-Alabama28/2nd RoundWaddle is the next receiver to go off the board to be re-united with his former college QB. His foot speed expands the Dolphins’ vertical passing game.
7th overallDetroit LionsPenei Sewell6’5 331 OT-Oregon3/1st RoundSewell’s nastiness made him one of the best picks in this year’s draft and fits what the Lions are trying to do with a physical running game.
8th overallCarolina PanthersJaycee Horn6’1 205 CB-South Carolina19/2nd RoundThe Panthers needed a big corner and they took one of the draft’s longer ones in Horn.
9th overallDenver BroncosPatrick Surtain II6’2 208 CB-Alabama7/1st RoundThe Broncos take the second consecutive CB off of the board and his technique is arguably the best.
10th overallPhiladelphia Eagles (from Dallas Cowboys)DeVonta Smith6’0 166 WR-Alabama1/1st RoundThe 2020 Heisman Trophy winner will get an opportunity to re-unite with his former QB too, just like Waddle and Chase earlier in the draft.
11th overallChicago Bears (trade from New York Giants)Justin Fields6’3 227 QB-Ohio State31/2nd RoundFields goes to a football team where he can add arm strength to pierce balls through the wind and add diversity to the team’s running team.
12th overallDallas Cowboys (from Philadelphia Eagles)Micah Parsons6’3 246 LB-Penn State2/1st RoundParsons’ speed goes with rare size at the position. He has a chance to develop in Dan Quinn’s system.
13th overallLos Angeles ChargersRashawn Slater6’4 304 OT-Northwestern16/2nd RoundSlater’s technique gives the Chargers added flexibility on its offensive lineman, as the former OL has started at both RT and LT.
14th overallNew York Jets (from Minnesota Vikings)Alijah Vera-Tucker6’4 302 OT-USC6/1st RoundVera-Tucker could pair with Becton on the left side to potentially power an offensive line that could develop into one of the AFC’s best.
15th overallNew England PatriotsMac Jones6’2 217 QB-Alabama39/2nd RoundJones goes to the Patriots to develop in a system that could spotlight all of his respective strengths.
16th overallArizona CardinalsZaven Collins6’4 260 LB-Tulsa13/1st RoundCollins’ skills can now pair with Simmons to give the Cardinals defensive flexibility in spades. The team adds a player who creates difficult one-on-one matchups for teams on third down.
17th overallLas Vegas RaidersAlex Leatherwood6’5 312 OL-Alabama104/3rd RoundThe 2020 Outland Trophy winner may make a move to the inside, where he was a second-team All-SEC player at RG in 2018.
18th overallMiami DolphinsJaelen Phillips6’5 260 DE-Miami (Fla.), UCLA43/2nd RoundPhillips has all of the tools to become an instant contributor opposite Emmanuel Ogbah. Can he stay healthy?
19th overallWashington Football TeamJamin Davis6’4 234 LB-Kentucky61/2nd RoundHC Ron Rivera finds a linebacker who has the traits to become like the LBs he had in Carolina.
20th overallNew York Giants (from Chicago Bears)Kadarius Toney5’11 189 All-Purpose/Florida49/2nd RoundHis ability to get in-and-out of traffic with the ball in his hands makes him a threat as an all-purpose prospect and slot WR.
21st overallIndianapolis ColtsKwity Paye6’3 270 DE-Michigan9/1st RoundPaye was one of the draft’s best run defender and he is going to get better as a pass rusher.
22nd overallTennessee TitansCaleb Farley6’2 207 CB-Virginia Tech17/1st RoundOne of the draft’s most talented corners has ball skills, instincts and health concerns. His skills fit Tennessee’s defensive
23rd overallMinnesota Vikings (from New York Jets)Christian Darrisaw6’5 314 LT-Virginia Tech4/1st RoundThe Vikings get one of the draft’s best offensive line talents after sliding back in the first round. Good moves again by the Vikings front office.
24th overallPittsburgh SteelersNajee Harris6’1 231/RB-Alabama11/1st RoundThe Steelers get the former five-star recruit whose game continues to grow both as a receiver and blocker. They get one of the better prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.
25th overallJacksonville JaguarsTravis Etienne5’10 215/RB-Clemson22/1st RoundEtienne reunites with Trevor Lawrence in what could prove to be a game-changing backfield combination. He will team with James Robinson for a powerful one-two punch.
26th overallCleveland BrownsGreg Newsome II6'1 190/CB-Northwestern64/2nd RoundNewsome’s technique goes along with smooth on-field movement. The Browns now have three cornerbacks to match up with the AFC’s fast-paced offenses.
27th overallBaltimore RavensRashod Bateman6’0 190/WR-Minnesota18/2nd RoundBateman gives Jackson yet another weapon after the signing of Sammy Watkins. The team is continuing to attempt to get it right at the position.
28th overallNew Orleans SaintsPayton Turner6’5 290/DE-Houston111/3rd RoundTurner impressed on his Pro Day with a 4.33 20-yard shuttle time at 290 pounds. Turner got better during his career week-to-week.
29th overallGreen Bay PackersEric Stokes6’1 194/CB-Georgia35/2nd RoundStokes continued to get better year-to-year, but prior to 2020 he hadn’t finished on the ball. The 10.39 100-meter sprinter finished with four interceptions as a senior.
30th overallBuffalo BillsGregory Rousseau6’6 5/8” 266/DE-Miami (Fla.)8/1st RoundThe Bills take a pass rusher with 11-inch hands and an 83” wingspan. Rousseau had 15.5 QB sacks in 2019 and was tough to latch while working from a number of spots.
31st overallBaltimore RavensJayson Oweh6’5 252/DE-Penn State143/3rd RoundThe Ravens bet on Oweh’s upside, which includes 4.3 speed and very good upper body strength.
32nd overallTampa Bay BuccaneersJoe Tryon6’5 252/DE-Washington69/2nd RoundTryon has played from a two-point stand-up OLB or with his hand in the dirt. This was a perfect scheme-fit for the Buccaneers.

Round 1 trades/notes:

•   The Dallas Cowboys traded the 10th pick overall to the Philadelphia Eagles to the Dallas Cowboys for the 12th overall pick and the Cowboys picked up Philadelphia’s 2021 third-round pick.
•   New York Giants traded the 11th overall pick to the Chicago Bears in return for the Bears 2021 fifth-round pick, 2022 first-round pick and  2022 fourth-round pick   
•   Minnesota Vikings traded the 14th overall pick to the New York Jets in exchange for the 23rd overall pick 
•   The first quarterback to ever get selected in the first round of the draft by a Bill Belichick-led team becomes Alabama’s Mac Jones
•   New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman traded back for the first time in his career
•   There were four sets of teammates reunited in the first round.  Former LSU WR Ja'Marr Chase (1st Round, 5th pick overall) teams back up with his Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in Cincinnati, Alabama WR/All-Purpose threat Jaylen Waddle (1st Round, 6th pick overall) teams up with former Alabama quarterback and current Miami Dolphins starter Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama WR DeVonta Smith (1st Round, 10th pick overall) will play with former Alabama starting quarterback Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia, Clemson RB Travis Etienne (1st Round, 25th overall) gets to share the backfield again with Jacksonville first overall pick Trevor Lawrence.

Run-of-the-mill? Davis Mills- Stanford QB

15 Davis Mills

6’4 217 QB-Junior

Stanford

Davis Mills could be an intriguing middle round prospect. Can the Stanford Cardinal quarterback be as effective as former greats from Palo Alto like Jim Plunkett and Andrew Luck?

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths):  Good ball handler.  Smooth, compact delivery. Gets the ball out of his hand quickly on possession routes.  Forgets his mistakes within a game and bounces back (UCLA ’20).  Extends the ball away from his frame on ball fakes.  Exhibits relaxed quiet feet before throwing nine routes outside the numbers with touch.  From under center, he can turn his back to the defense on seven-step drops and fire deep comebacks accurately (3rd QTR/7:23, Northwestern ’19).  Keeps a shoulder-width base and can make these passes on his third hitch in the pocket. Places back-shoulder passes to his No. 2 slot WR (4th QTR, TD, UCLA ’20) or to the X-WR on fades vs. tight man coverage (3rd QTR, Northwestern ’19; OT, UCLA ’20).  Projects with touch throwing the ball in the middle of the field. Capable of making the free rusher miss and then scrambling for yardage (3rd and 10, 3rd QTR, California ’19).  Has good feet speed running to the corner to outrun defenses.  Projects with touch throwing the ball in the middle of the field. Described as “even-keeled” by coaches (https://www.stanforddaily.com/2019/11/14/mills-to-start-against-wazzu-as-injuries-continue-to-plague-cardinal/).  Led a game-winning drive vs. Oregon State in 2020 and also a fourth quarter comeback vs. UCLA in 2020. 

Weaknesses:  He has left some layups on the field (3rd and 5, 2nd QTR/5:01, California ’19).  Some of his double posts to the No. 1 WR don’t get up-and-down in the middle of the field (3rd QTR, Northwestern ’19).  Loses some passes on deep over (Dover) concepts (INT, 3rd QTR/11:08, California ’19).  Locks in on his targets and takes safeties to the ball (INT, 3rd QTR, California ’19).   Fooled by UCLA CB Jay Shaw in a two-deep trap coverage and threw a hitch (five-yard stop) into the trap (INT-TD, 4th QTR, UCLA ’20). Time management is still a work in progress.  Needs more reps. He had two delay of game penalties vs. California in 2019.  Eyes drop in the pocket too soon when reading through coverage (4th QTR, Northwestern ’19).  Knee injuries hampered Mills for most of his first two seasons at Stanford.  Also missed time after suffering an injury against Washington in 2019.  In high school, he did not play in the 2017 U.S. Army All-American game due to injury.

Other Notes:  Attended Greater Atlanta Christian HS (Ga.) and was ranked as the nation’s No. 1 QB ahead of Tua Tagovailloa and Jake Fromm in the 247Sports class of 2017 •  2016 Nike Sparq testing results: 4.32 20-yd SS, 33″ VJ • 2018: Appeared in two games • 2019 (8 gms): Completed 158-of-241 passes (66%) for 1,960 yards, 11 TDs and 5 INTs; 44 yards rushing; TD reception • 327 yards passing (55%), TD vs. Colorado on 11/14/20 • 2020 (5 gms): Completed 129-of-195 passes (66.2%) for 1,508 yards, 7 TDs and 3 INTs • Career Stats: Passed for 3,468 yards (65.5%), 18 TDs, 8 INTs; 86 yards rushing, 3 TDs • Stanford Pro Day: 9 1/2″ hands, 31 3/8″ arms, 77 3/4″ wingspan, 4.78 40-yd, 32″ VJ, 9’2″ BJ, 6.95 3-cone, 4.4 20-yd SS

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary):  There was a reason that former Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello left the Cardinal program for Mississippi State.  Some people may point to injury, but in reality it was due to the emergence of Mills.  After Costello’s injury in 2019, Mills could not truly grab the job and he himself went down to injury.  The trend of injuries dates back to his high school days, where he was once ranked ahead of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in 247Sports’ 2017 rankings.  So what does he bring to the table?  Mills is an inexperienced quarterback with a smooth delivery, good mobility and an even-keeled nature.  That calm in the face of the storm helped him deliver after falling behind in games as a junior.

Grade                                       5.75 (3rd Round)

DN Big Board Rank:     168


Mississippi State vs. Alabama, 11-10-18: In-game report

A pair of sophomores on different sides of the ball are leading the charge for the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.  Behind its star quarterback and dominant defensive line,  Alabama defeated Mississippi State, 24-0.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in game report:

13 Tua Tagovailoa (6’1, 218) Alabama QB-Sophomore  

While a bit undersized, Tua Tagovailoa has the traits of an NFL starting quarterback.  His excellent feet and natural throwing motion stood out once again on Saturday.  In the first quarter, the sophomore perfectly lofted a pass to junior tight end Irv Smith, Jr. (6’4, 240) at the one-yard line near the sideline between two defensive backs. The pass led to a one-yard rushing touchdown. The Hawaii native is also athletic enough to still be able to evade pressure even while dealing with a knee injury that requires him to wear a brace. When the pocket breaks down, Tagovailoa is able to sense it and tries to run.  This can be good and bad.  The positive is that once it led to a 10-yard first down pickup.   On the negative side, Tagovailoa was sacked four times partly because he refused to throw the ball away and sank in the pocket.  He has a lot of the tools to be successful at the next level but I will be interested to see how he improves when it comes to not taking unnecessary sacks. The sophomore quarterback completed 14-of-21 passes for 164 yards with one touchdown and one interception. 

92 Quinnen Williams (6’4, 289) Alabama DL-Sophomore 

Williams is one of the coveted defensive lineman in college football because he can play both the run and the pass. Against the pass, Williams was able to use a rip move and get up field to force a sack at the end of the first quarter.  Against the run, Williams plays with great leverage, which allows him to keep a low base and take on multiple interior linemen.  Williams (5 sacks on the season) is violent with his hands and should be able to contribute immediately in either a 4-3 front as a defensive tackle or 3-4 scheme in the NFL as a defensive end. 

Mississippi State blitz packages 

The Bulldogs mustered just 169 yards of total offense but on defense, they may have been on to something that could help other teams in their quest to dethrone Alabama.  Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop’s unit held Alabama to 305 total yards, which was 200 less than its season average.  They sacked Tagovailoa four times when Alabama had come into the game with just six sacks allowed.  Shoop did it with a variety of blitzes from a number of directions. Three different players accounted for the four sacks.  Sophomore linebacker Willie Gay, Jr. (6’2, 235) led the team with two sacks and also had an interception.  Gay, Jr. was used as a blitzer on multiple occasions prior to his interception, and he was able to fool Tagovailoa by dropping into coverage on the pick.  The numbers will show a blowout but the Bulldogs defense gave Alabama all they could handle. 

2018 Preview: Alabama Crimson Tide

Season outlook

Alabama is once again the favorite to win the National Championship, but they will have to adjust to new offensive and defensive coordinators in Nick Saban’s 12th season as head coach. Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley will have to choose between junior quarterback Jalen Hurts (6’2, 218) and sophomore signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa (6’1, 218).

Aside from posting a 26-2 career record as a two-year starter, QB Jalen Hurts (No.2 pictured) has thrown for 4,861 yards (61.9%), 40 TDs and 10 INTs. He has also rushed for 1,809 yards (5.4 YPC) and 21 TDs.

Both quarterbacks showed an ability to take care of the football in 2017.  Hurts threw just one interception in 254 passing attempts and Tagovailoa had only two in 77 passes.  The duo combined for 28 passing touchdowns.  No matter who lines up under center, look for Alabama to feature senior running back Damien Harris (5’11, 216).  Harris is as consistent as they come, posting  back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Defensively, the front seven is led by junior defensive tackle Raekwon Davis (6’7, 306) and linebacker Anfernee Jennings (6’3, 267, Jr.).  A position group to keep an eye on this season is the secondary.  The Crimson Tide lost four contributors from last season’s team and will have several new faces on the back end.   Few teams are better prepared for attrition, but it will have to introduce newcomers on defense and in the coaches’ rooms.

Troy’s player to watch

99 Raekwon Davis 6’7 315 DT-Junior
Alabama routinely wins in the trenches with players like Davis.  He  has a good combination of strength and athleticism for an interior lineman.  For his size, he also plays with good leverage and is adept at bending and twisting to get around interior offensive linemen. The junior defensive tackle is also a technician with his hands, which allows him to blow by slower guards. Last year, he finished with 8.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss.

Game of the season 

November 24th against Auburn
The Iron Bowl will once again feature the two favorites in the SEC West.  Auburn returns 13 starters from last season’s team, which beat Alabama 26-14 at home.   Head coach Gus Malzahn is 2-3 all- time against Alabama and will look to even the score versus its in-state rival.  Expect a closely-contested game in Tuscaloosa.

DraftNasty’s Prospect Watch:

73 Jonah Williams 6’5 301 LT-Junior

Williams (No. 73 pictured) has started 29 games at both tackle spots in his first two seasons on campus.

There aren’t many true juniors with the starting experience of Williams.  In just two seasons on campus, he’s already earned 29 career starts.  By the conclusion of his junior year, he may very well have over 40 starts.  His mobility is evident when asked to reach defensive tackles or scoop block versus linebackers.  There have been instances where he’s been beaten over the top with outside club moves in pass protection.   If the ‘Tide opens up its offense in 2018, Williams may get an opportunity to show off an increased skill-set in pass protection.

Prediction: 12-0

As always, games against LSU and Auburn can be tricky for the Crimson Tide to navigate, but DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson is predicting an undefeated regular season for Alabama.  The Crimson Tide play Louisville, Citadel and Arkansas State in the non- conference portion of their schedule and won’t have to play Florida or Georgia until a potential match-up in the SEC Championship.