NFL executive compares Tua Tagovailoa to Jimmy Garoppolo, says Miami Dolphins QB is underrated

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Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is entering a crucial third season in the NFL, as the Dolphins have surrounded him with several weapons to help him be successful in the 2022 season.

An NFC personnel executive recently offered some thoughts on the quarterback.

“The system fits him and will play to his strengths,” the executive told Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed. “They upgraded their offensive line and the playmakers around him.”

While Tagovailoa isn’t considered a franchise quarterback yet in the NFL, the executive believes he is a bit underrated, comparing him to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

“Personally, I think Tua is a little better than most people think or he gets credit for,” the executive said. “Or maybe the proper wording is I don’t think he’s as bad as the narrative on him seems to be. I think he gets knocked for being so hyped up coming out — which I thought he was very much overhyped studying him — and also he’s well behind both [Joe] Burrow and [Justin] Herbert from the same draft class, but none of that’s his fault. Honestly, I see him as very similar to Garoppolo and think he can be that type of QB for Miami.”

While Dolphins fans certainly want Tagovailoa to be on the level that Burrow and Herbert are on right now, there is still time for him to get there.

Tagovailoa, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, didn’t start right away in his rookie season. Instead, he waited behind Ryan Fitzpatrick before taking over as the starter several games into the season.

Then, in the 2021 campaign, Tagovailoa endured a rib injury early on that threw a wrench into his season as well as Miami’s. The team came up just short of the playoffs in the AFC.

Despite all of that, there have been positives to take away from Tagovailoa’s first two seasons in the NFL. During his time with Miami, Tagovailoa has compiled a 13-8 record as a starter. He’s also one of the most accurate passers in the NFL, as he completed 67.8 percent of his throws last season.

Last season, Tagovailoa appeared in 13 games for the Dolphins, making 12 starts. He threw for 2,653 yards and 16 touchdowns. The bright side for Miami is that it went 7-5 in Tagovailoa’s starts, which could signal that the team is ready to take a leap if he stays healthy in the 2022 season.

The additions of Tyreek Hill, Chase Edmonds and Cedrick Wilson Jr. should allow Tagovailoa to reach his full potential in Mike McDaniel’s offense.

For Dolphins fans that are worried about Tagovailoa’s ceiling, it’s worth noting that Garoppolo has taken the 49ers to one Super Bowl and two NFC Championship Games during his time in San Francisco.

If Tagovailoa has that much success in Miami, it will be hard to consider him unworthy of the starting job.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.