NFL Draft 2020, revisited: Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa & how LSU’s historic season thwarted ‘Tank for Tua’

Entering the 2019 season, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that if Joe Burrow, the starting quarterback at LSU who was formerly buried on the depth chart at Ohio State, had not been the overall No. 1 player, Tua Tagovailoa would be the top draft pick.

Today, the LSU Tigers became one of the greatest college teams of all time, producing some of the best talent in the NFL. With a perfect 15-0 record, they undoubtedly became the best team in the nation in 2019. Additionally, Joe Burrow stood out as the unquestionably top player on the team.

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During the draft, Tagovailoa was selected as the 5th overall player and the 2nd quarterback. In an effort to become the number 1 quarterback, Tua quickly joined the NFL’s “Tank for Burrow” campaign. By doing so, he took a significant leap.

Tagovailoa, who looks back at the 2019 college football season as a can’t-miss product of the NFL 2020 draft, jumped Burrow in how he faced opponents as a quarterback for the first time on “Thursday Night Football” in the NFL.

The Bengals, the team with the first pick of the draft, were in desperate need of a quarterback, and LSU’s Joe Burrow was considered a generational talent following his impressive performance in the 2019 season. Regardless of his position, Burrow was ultimately chosen as the number one overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Over the course of two-plus seasons, the Bengals’ decision to choose Burrow has proven to be highly advantageous, making it one of the simplest choices in the draft. Additionally, Cincinnati held a special significance for Burrow as it served as his hometown team. Burrow, originating from Athens, Ohio, had spent a number of years providing support to potential NFL quarterbacks at Ohio State.

Respectively, the Giants, Detroit, and Washington had quarterbacks in place – Daniel Jones, Mathew Stafford, and Alex Smith/Dwayne Haskins. Before his own name was called, Tagovailoa had to patiently wait for the names of three more players to be announced – Andrew Thomas, Jeff Okudah, and Chase Young.

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Miami, the first team in need of a quarterback among those teams, chose Tagovailoa over Justin Herbert, a product of Oregon.

The Bengals selected Joe Burrow as the first overall pick, while the Dolphins chose Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth pick. The Chargers went on to select Justin Herbert as the sixth pick, and the Packers chose Jordan Love with the 26th pick. The Eagles selected Jalen Hurts as the 53rd pick, followed by the Colts selecting Jacob Eason with the 122nd pick. The Jets then chose James Morgan with the 125th pick, and the Bills selected Jake Fromm with the 167th pick. The Jaguars chose Jake Luton with the 189th pick, and the Titans selected Cole McDonald with the 224th pick. The Cowboys then selected Ben DiNucci with the 231st pick, followed by the Saints selecting Tommy Stevens with the 240th pick. Finally, the Vikings chose Nate Stanley with the 244th pick.

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Joe Burrow’s statistics for the year 2019

It can’t be understated how dominant Burrow’s 2019 season was at LSU, adding five touchdowns and 369 rushing yards, while also throwing for six interceptions, 60 touchdowns, and 5,671 passing yards (with a completion rate of 76.3% on 527 passes completed out of 402).

In the year 2020, a group that generated 14 selections for the NFL draft, comprising of top-tier picks like K’Lavon Chaisson, Justin Jefferson, Patrick Queen, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, provided assistance to Burrow. The team was deemed by The Sporting News to be the third most exceptional team in history. In the initial three rounds, a collective of 10 athletes were chosen.

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Both Derek Stingley Jr., Arguably the best cornerback in the country in college football season 2019, and Ja’Marr Chase, the winner of the 2019 Biletnikoff Award, went on to be top-five picks in the NFL drafts of 2022 and 2021 respectively. It is important to note that future first-round selections do not include them, of course.

Regardless of the fact that Burrow did not have a single bad game in 2019 for the Tigers, he routinely dismantled opposing defenses, including those from top-10 teams on seven different occasions.

In a rare regular-season game of the Century, the Tigers ultimately secured victory against Alabama and Tagovailoa, with three touchdowns and 393 yards for passes completed by Burrow, who completed 31 out of 39 passes. This was their first victory in the series since 2011.

This is his game passing log from the season, which included only one game with one touchdown pass and a completion rate of less than 70 percent, along with a touchdown-interception ratio of 22-0 in the last five games.

73.7) 328 3-1 at No. 1 LSU 31-39 (79.5) 418 4-0 Output: In the opponent completion-attempts (percentage) yards TDS-INTs against Georgia Southern, 23-27 (85.2) 278 5-0 at No. 9 Texas, 31-39 (79.5) 471 4-1 against Northwestern State, 21-24 (87.5) 373 2-1 at Vanderbilt, 25-34 (73.5) 398 6-0 against Utah State, 27-38 (71.1) 344 5-1 against No. 7 Florida, 21-24 (87.5) 293 3-0 at Mississippi State, 25-32 (78.1) 327 4-0 against No. 9 Auburn, 32-42 (76.2) 321 1-1 at No. 2 Alabama, 31-39 (79.5) 393 3-0 at Ole Miss, 32-42 (76.2) 489 5-2 against Arkansas, 23-28 (

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Tua Tagovailoa’s statistics for 2019

He also had two rushing touchdowns. He had three interceptions, 33 touchdowns, and 2,840 yards for 252 completed passes out of 180. He had a full season without even being a slouch, but the 2019 campaign that Burrow had, Tagovailoa didn’t have.

Harris Najee returns to the running game, highlighting the explosive trio of Ruggs, Henry, and Jeudy, as well as the dynamic playmaking abilities of Waddle, Jaylen Smith, and DeVonta. With such a wealth of offensive talent at his disposal, Tagovailoa is poised to replicate the success of Burrow.

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The 2019 campaign was cut short just nine games into the season, and the sixth game for the Crimson Tide did not include an interception, which is his passing log for the 2019 season.

Opponent Completion-Attempts (Pct.) Yards TDS-INTs vs. Duke 26-31 (83.9) 336 4-0 vs. New Mexico State 16-24 (66.7) 227 3-0 at South Carolina 28-36 (77.8) 444 5-0 vs. Southern Miss 17-21 (81.0) 293 5-0 vs. Ole Miss 26-36 (72.2) 418 6-0 at No. 24 Texas A&M 21-34 (61.8) 293 4-1 vs. Tennessee 11-12 (91.7) 155 0-1 vs. No. 1 LSU 21-40 (52.5) 418 4-1 at Mississippi State 14-18 (77.8) 256 2-0 Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa’s history of injuries

Burrow earned his status as the overall No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft, despite a career-ending injury, including a devastating hip injury that was certainly not helped by Tagovailoa’s notable history of injuries at Alabama.

Those include:.

  • Fractured left index finger (March 2018).
  • Sprained left knee (October 2018).
  • Injury to the left quadriceps (November 2018).
  • Injury to the ankle on the right side (December 2018).
  • Sprained right ankle (October 2019).
  • Hip dislocation, fracture of the posterior wall (November 2019).
  • LSU is scheduled to return before their bye week, and they missed Tua Tagovailoa for the first week due to an injury. Following that game, Tagovailoa never missed any time due to an ankle sprain on his right foot, which occurred prior to the 2019 season.

    In the next game, Tagovailoa suffered a devastating car crash injury, which created a significant timeline for his NFL career recovery. This injury, a posterior hip fracture and dislocation, is more severe than the one he sustained against Mississippi State.

    There is no doubt that Burrow, the incredible signal-caller for LSU Tigers, would be the overall number one pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, even with the injury removed.

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