Former NFL Linebacker Says He Would Take Tua Tagovailoa Over Lamar Jackson

Tua Tagovailoa and Lamar Jackson

The AFC is littered with promising young quarterbacks.

Patrick Mahomes, 24, and Lamar Jackson, 23, have won the past two regular season MVP awards.

Deshaun Watson, 24, and Josh Allen, 24, both led their teams to the postseason in 2019.

The new kid in town is Miami Dolphins rookie Tua Tagovailoa.

The 22-year-old Tagovailoa is the youngest of the bunch, but he has the highest upside according to former NFL linebacker Rob Ninkovich.

Ninkovich, who played 11 seasons with the Dolphins, New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots, recently stated he would take Tagovailoa over any quarterback 25 years old or younger, besides Mahomes.

Mahomes was omitted from the debate because he would likely be the easy answer among all analysts.

Outside of the five quarterbacks mentioned above, others notables who are 25 and under are Kyler Murray (22), Sam Darnold (23) and Jared Goff (25).

Still, Ninkovich wants Tagovailoa over any of them.

“I’m going with Tua,” Ninkovich said. “He’s the guy that I want to start my franchise with. I feel like he has the upside in the modern NFL, the new scheme offensively how you want to run with the RPOs (run-pass options). … I think in three years he will be the best quarterback in the AFC.”

Tagovailoa’s main concern at this point is whether he can stay healthy. But Ninkovich said he isn’t worried about that.

Domonique Foxworth, the other analyst debating with Ninkovich, said Jackson was his choice because he has so few question marks.

Jackson is certainly the safer bet. He accounted for 43 total touchdowns last season for the No. 1-seeded Baltimore Ravens.

If all goes according to plan, Jackson and Tagovailoa – as well as Mahomes, Watson and others – will be battling for Super Bowls for years to come.