In light of the recent devastating injury suffered by Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins fans have been forced to look elsewhere for a potential franchise quarterback. While there’s still a chance Tagovailoa will make a full recovery, it is now riskier than ever for Miami to put all their eggs in one basket. Tagovailoa may return to form, or he may never play football again. Even if he does, there’s also a chance he will never be the same player he once was. Does that mean the Dolphins shouldn’t draft him? Not necessarily. Miami has several draft picks to spare, and Tagovailoa will likely be available when the Dolphins pick now that his health is a huge question mark. Where’s the harm in drafting two quarterbacks?
However, there is another possibility. After suffering such a major injury, Tagovailoa could decide that his best option is to return to Alabama for one more year. By doing so, he can rebuild his draft stock and prove to potential suitors that he still has what it takes. But that leaves Miami without a clear cut QB selection in the 2020 draft. Who do they turn to now? Oregon’s Justin Herbert? Georgia’s Jake Fromm? Utah State’s Jordan Love?
The 2020 draft class is filled with talented quarterbacks besides Tagovailoa, and a good coaching staff has a very good chance of developing one of them into a franchise quarterback. But there’s one quarterback who has captured the attention of another legendary athlete in Miami’s history. Former Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade took to Twitter early Sunday morning to express his support for Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts.
If you’re up 28-3 against a great quarterback. You should be very afraid. @JalenHurts is the real deal. Pass up on him if you want and you will live to regret it.
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) November 17, 2019
There’s a certain irony to this. Back during Hurts’ junior year, he was replaced as the starter at Alabama by none other than Tua Tagovailoa. Hurts did well as his backup and the two became good friends. Hurts recently offered his thoughts on Tagovailoa’s injury.
“It hurt me to hear it. He’s a great friend of mine,” Hurts said. “I pray for him and his family. I hope everything works out for the best for him.”
That said, Hurts did want to have an opportunity to play for himself. So, for his senior year, Hurts announced he was transferring to the University of Oklahoma. Since then, Hurts has become a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, and he leads the nation in passer efficiency rating. In second place, is Tagovailoa. Hurts is breaking Baker Mayfield’s records and he’s showing amazing talent as both a runner and a passer.
However, he’s also making mistakes. His recent incredible comeback against Baylor was partly necessary because of errors he himself made. But the fact he made that spectacular comeback, bringing the Sooners back from a 28-3 deficit to win, proves his talent is there, waiting for someone to develop and utilize.
All. Tied. Up.
JALEN HURTS AND OKLAHOMA STORM BACK FROM DOWN 21 😈 pic.twitter.com/OxdoSQ7CWU
— ESPN (@espn) November 17, 2019
But what makes Wade, a basketball player, an authority on potential NFL quarterbacks? Frankly, not much. But there is one universal trait among all competitive sports. The untraceable concept of “it.”
Wade has “it.”
There’s a saying that game recognizes game. True, Wade likely knows next to nothing about what it takes to be an NFL quarterback. However, there’s a strong chance he can recognize that all so important “it” factor that defines Wade’s entire career in Jalen Hurts.
The kind of quarterback the Dolphins need to start their path back to greatness must possess that intangible. For Wade to endorse Jalen Hurts so emphatically means he must recognize something that makes Hurts special. True, he may not be Tagovailoa, but even Tagovailoa himself may not be that player anymore. So the next best thing may very well be Hurts. If nothing else, it should prompt Miami’s scouting department to take a very close look at him.
Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for six years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung