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Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa break down Alabama’s top four offensive prospects in 2021 NFL Draft


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Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa are two former profitable Alabama beginning quarterbacks who will likely be beginning in the NFL collectively in 2021. Hurts will elevate from second-round choose to full-time starter for the Eagles. Tagovailoa, who sat at first as a first-rounder in 2020, is the unquestioned No. 1 younger gun for the Dolphins.

When Hurts and Tagovailoa performed for Nick Saban and helped the Crimson Tide attain extra school soccer supremacy, they helped set off a tremendous run of extremely drafted offensive talent gamers. Since 2018, Alabama has produced three first-round broad receivers in Calvin Ridley, Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy. At working again, Josh Jacobs went in Round 1 and Damien Harris in Round 3. Hurts and Tagovailoa have been chosen excessive in 2020.

MORE: NFL Draft prospects 2021: Big board of top 50 players

Now this system’s offensive explosion goes to an entire different stage for the NFL with its unbelievable nationwide championship-winning foursome: DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Mac Jones and Najee Harris. Smith and Waddle at the moment are anticipated to each go in the top 10 on April 29, bettering Ruggs and Jeudy in the top 20 at wideout. Jones will observe Tagovailoa in going in the early-to-mid first spherical. Harris, the debatable greatest working again in the 2021 class, has an opportunity to hitch Jacobs as a late first-rounder.

Few gamers know all these prospects in addition to their former teammates, Hurts and Tagovailoa. They competed and developed with Jones. They noticed Smith and Waddle as promising younger targets. They noticed Harris developing as Alabama’s newest backfield star. Sporting News talked to each former ‘Bama QBs to be taught extra concerning the superb quartet.

Hurts, earlier than he left Alabama and additional boosted his draft inventory at Oklahoma, is for certain that battling for enjoying time in Tuscaloosa whereas absorbing high-level ideas allowed him, Tagovailoa and Jones to feed off one another and evolve into the best-possible well-rounded quarterbacks.

“When I went in there, I had like four five-star quarterbacks in front of me. I put myself in that position to compete with the intention of taking over, and it took off from there,” Hurts mentioned. “I know Tua learned a lot from me, and I know I learned a lot from him.

“The drive, the work ethic that Mac Jones has, I’ve at all times admired that about him. He at all times believed in himself, so all of us had a great bond with that. It’s so loopy wanting again at it now that all of us have an opportunity to be in this league at this stage of play.”

Tagovailoa, who followed Hurts and was succeed by Jones, heaped the highest of praise on his replacement and highlighted his most underrated attribute.

“Mac may be very Tom Brady-esque. He seems as much as Tom Brady. He tries to decorate at instances like Tom Brady. That’s Mac’s greatest position mannequin,” Tagovailoa said. “He’s a very smart kid, on and off the field. He takes care of things he needs to take care of as a very hard worker. He also has kind of that sly athleticism that helps him.”


With the Dolphins picking No. 3 overall and wide receiver being a key offensive need, there’s a chance Tagovailoa could reunite with Smith or Waddle. Hurts also has that chance with the Eagles on the clock at No. 7.

However the early part of the draft plays out, Tagovailoa knows it will be hard for NFL teams to pick between Smith and Waddle.

“They’re each very explosive. They can each take the top off of defenses,” Tagovailoa said. “They’re additionally very athletic in area, so that you give them the ball in open discipline, they may make one thing occur for you.”

Smith and Waddle also don’t stop contributing when they’re not running routes and catching passes.

“In the working sport, they don’t seem to be afraid to get down and soiled with blocks,” Tagovailoa said. “That’s what makes them full gamers for any NFL crew who will get one in all them.”

Hurts first got a look at Waddle’s ball-handling, speed and quickness when checking out the future wide receiver playing AAU basketball in Houston.

“I noticed his athleticism enjoying basketball and I at all times knew he was one thing particular,” Hurts said. “He match proper in when he got here to Alabama. He’s a pure playmaker who performs passionate soccer and he loves the sport.”

Hurts also recalls his impactful first impression of Smith, which came when he hosted him on a successful college recruiting visit.

“Everyone needs to exit and get together and be on the scene, however the literal very first thing we did was go to the indoor facility at Alabama, throw some routes and get laborious work in,” Hurts said. “That describes him in a nutshell — the maturity he has, the desire to win, the aggressive nature. He’s received all of it. That’s why he had among the best receiving seasons in school soccer historical past.”


As for Harris, Hurts was sold early when he saw him backing up his strong legs with good hands for the passing game.

“Najee came in as a freshman jumping over people, catching the ball with one hand,” Hurts said. “He’s such a big guy, but he can do it all well, catch the ball, run routes. He’s shifty and powerful at the same time.”

MORE: SN’s latest NFL mock draft

When Tagovailoa first saw Harris, he was shocked at how well someone with a 6-2, 230-pound frame could move.

“From highschool, once we have been getting recruited, I could not imagine this man was in highschool. He regarded like he had already performed a pair years in school,” Tagovailoa said. “He just about stood out in each camp I noticed him go to. He was the most important working again, he was the strongest working again. He’s very fast on his toes.”

Tagovailoa was simply as impressed with Harris staying grounded for being such a proficient working again who knew how good he was.

“I was roommates with him my freshman year and into my sophomore year,” Tagovailoa mentioned. “He’s a great dude on and off the field, very fun to be around. Whoever gets this guy, they’re lucky.”

Alabama was once recognized for being a defensive manufacturing unit for the NFL. But as Saban has adjusted his crew to being extra high-scoring and environment friendly, it is also churning out coveted pro-style offensive gamers. Hurts and Tagovailoa performed an enormous half in flipping the notion and the Crimson Tide have gone full velocity forward with passing, working and receiving game-changers.

The particular NFL groups that find yourself with Jones, Smith, Waddle and Harris will not simply be fortunate. They could have possibilities to discipline nice offenses due to their respective picks.



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