NFL scout declares he’s changed his opinion and would now take Tua Tagovailoa over Justin Herbert

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

A longtime NFL scout revealed that he would take Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa over Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.

Tagovailoa is in the middle of his best season of his NFL career, and even though the scout was high on Herbert in the 2020 NFL Draft, he now prefers Tagovailoa because of his elite accuracy.

“My concerns with Tua were durability and the fact he was surrounded with so many great players at [University of] Alabama, as opposed to say, Dak Prescott, who didn’t have a lot around him at Mississippi State [University],” the scout told the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. “So as a scout you ask: Is it really him or the program? I would have taken Herbert over Tua before that draft.

“But I’ve seen Tua a lot this year, and I would take him over Herbert now. I know he has some injury issues and he’s not a big kid in terms of girth and size. But his accuracy is off the charts [before the 49ers game]. That kid has got a gift. You can’t teach someone to be instinctive; it’s given to you. He’s obviously got it, and the vision [to see plays develop]. He’s got a lot better arm strength than I gave him credit for. His production, his touch, and his accuracy are exceptional. I still think Herbert is a very good player. To me, Tua has risen above the others.”

The Dolphins are thriving this season with Tagovailoa playing well, and new head coach Mike McDaniel appears to have unlocked a new dimension of the quarterback’s game.

Herbert, who won the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award in the 2020 season, has struggled at times after suffering a rib injury early in the season.

He’s on pace to finish with less than 30 touchdown passes this season after throwing just 20 through his first 12 games. The Chargers are just 6-6 on the season and are in serious danger of missing the playoffs, especially if they lose to the Dolphins in Week 14.

Miami is coming off a tough loss to the San Francisco 49ers, which was arguably Tagovailoa’s worst game of the season. However, the Dolphins quarterback still leads the NFL in yards gained per pass attempt, yards gained per pass completion and net yards gained per pass attempt.

The addition of Tyreek Hill has certainly unlocked a new dimension in Tagovailoa’s game, but it’s interesting to see a scout flip on Herbert in just his third NFL season.

The Chargers star hasn’t played poorly this season, but Tagovailoa has been so good, and so accurate (completing 68.1 percent of his passes), that he has surpassed the former Rookie of the Year in this scout’s eyes.

The Dolphins are certainly hoping that Tagovailoa continues on this trajectory, as the team has a real chance to compete for a Super Bowl this season and beyond with its high-powered offense.

Miami already beat the AFC-leading Buffalo Bills this season, and it still could win the AFC East division with a strong finish to the 2022 season.

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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.