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#pounditThursday, June 30, 2022

Many NFL execs expect Justin Herbert to be drafted ahead of Tua Tagovailoa

Justin Herbert

It is a foregone conclusion that Joe Burrow is going to be the first overall pick in next week’s NFL Draft, but the quarterback situation is a bit uncertain after that. While there will likely be three quarterbacks taken in the top six picks, the order in which they will be selected has been a topic of great debate in recent weeks.

More specifically, there is not much consensus on whether Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa is a more promising NFL prospect. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network polled a dozen general managers and executives from different teams, and seven of them predicted Herbert will be drafted ahead of Tagovailoa.

“It was not a very complex passing offense (at Oregon), but the kid is more than cerebral enough to pick that up, and he’s got a big-time arm,” one AFC executive said of Herbert. “The concern is, at the top of his drop, deciphering coverage — he just doesn’t have a lot of experience doing that, so he’s going to take some time. I just think he’s got a really high ceiling.”

Obviously, most of the talk surrounding Tagovailoa has been about his ability to stay healthy. The former Alabama star would have contended with Burrow to be the top overall pick if he didn’t suffer so many injuries in college, the most recent of which was a hip injury that required surgery. The clips from his private pro day seemed to indicate that Tagovailoa is fully recovered, but many feel it is a matter of when — not if — he suffers another significant injury.

Analysts have been all over the map with their predictions about Herbert and Tagovailoa. The reality is it’s almost impossible to separate the truth from a smoke screen this close to the draft, and we won’t know until we hear one of their names called.


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