Redskins would be 'stupid' to pass on a healthy Tua Tagovailoa

Chris Lingebach
March 05, 2020 - 2:43 pm

The Redskins passing on a healthy Tua Tagovailoa would be similar to when the Bears drafted Mitch Trubisky over Deshaun Watson, says Yahoo Sports columnist Dan Wetzel.

"If Tua Tagovailoa is healthy, and I don't know, this is... we went through this, this is one of the top two players in the draft," Wetzel told 106.7 The Fan's Chad Dukes on Wednesday. "Until Joe Burrow came along, he's the number one pick. He was incredible at Alabama."

"Look, I don't watch the film like these guys. I'm not gonna pretend I know more football than these guys. I'm not passing myself off as anything else," Wetzel prefaced. "But this to me feels like 2017 when I watched the Chicago Bears tell me that Mitchell Trubisky was better than Deshaun Watson. And it was like what are you talking about? You know, like, what exactly did Deshaun Watson have to do in college to impress you?"

"I don't really care about the other stuff," he said. "And you go, 'I don't know. Maybe they know more than I do.' No they didn't. Don't be stupid. This guy is an incredible football player. He looks like an elite NFL quarterback.

"And so if that's the case, and he's healthy... Now, Watson didn't even have the hurt hip, so look, if the hip isn't good... that's fine."

Trubisky made the Pro Bowl with an 11-3 record as a starter in 2018, when Chicago finished 12-4 and before being eliminated by Philadelphia in the wild card round. But he regressed significantly last season, to the extent that his future as a starting quarterback is heavily in question heading into his fourth NFL season. He's 23-18 overall in 41 starts (.561).

Watson won a national championship at Clemson and is a two-time Pro Bowler. After missing the second half of his rookie season with a torn ACL, he's led the Texans to consecutive playoff appearances, earning his first playoff victory over the Bills before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Chiefs in the 2019 divisional round. Watson is 24-13 overall in 37 starts (.649).

Trubisky went second overall to Chicago while Watson fell to Houston at 12.

"But to sit there and be like, 'Yeah, we can't take him at number two. We've got Dwayne Haskins.' What did Dwayne Haskins do that would make you so sure that you would pass on a guy who anybody else I think would grade out as a vastly superior prospect, minus the hip," Wetzel continued. "So I think it's like the draft becomes this conventional wisdom. Oh, we penciled in Chase Young at two. And Chase Young fits and all that."

"And then one of my favorite things in the draft, someone's moving down in the draft. There's been no draft," he said. "So would I be surprised if the number two pick in the draft is the number two quarterback taken overall and a potential number one? No, I'm not gonna be surprised. Even Detroit I guess has an excuse with Matthew Stafford. Dwayne Haskins is not Matthew Stafford.

"And then finally, the other one would be to trade it. I mean you know, if you go back to just Carson Wentz, Cleveland got a first, a second, a third and a fourth for him, in addition to a swap of the first-round pick. Like there is a haul to get if you put it out there. So to me, Tua's the second-best player in this draft because he plays the most important position. I'm just not gonna be surprised if he ends up going number two."

Wetzel went on to explain that Ohio State's Chase Young would be a heck of a consolation prize, if the Redskins decided to go with him, but no edge rusher is more important than getting the right quarterback.

"It's just quarterback," he said. "And if you can get one of these great quarterbacks, and you can get him on a rookie deal, who cares what you have?"

"So Arizona did it a year ago," he continued. "They actually traded up to get Josh Rosen two years ago, and a new regime comes in and they say we don't really care what we gave up or who we have in Josh Rosen. We're gonna dump him and take Kyler Murray. There is nobody in Arizona who's regretting that decision.

"And the Dolphins, who got Josh Rosen out of it, are sitting there saying, 'Well, we're gonna take Tua Tagovailoa at five if we can get him, or we're gonna move up.' So if you can get one of those guys, you have to get 'em."

And until someone tells me otherwise," he said, "I don't know what it is about Tua Tagovailoa – other than getting injured – that makes anyone think he's not an incredibly elite quarterback, certainly someone who's worthy of a top two or three pick."

"Dan Snyder very well may not allow this. He maybe loves Dwayne Haskins," Wetzel said. "Ron Rivera may not have this call, or maybe they really think they see something there, but I certainly didn't see anything out of Dwayne Haskins last year that made me 100 percent convinced that this is such a great prospect, that I'm gonna pass on a guy who looked as good as Tua Tagovailoa."

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