Alabama quarterbacks haven’t always been highly touted, especially for a program with such a rich history of success. However, in a span of just two years, three Alabama QBs have heard their name called in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa, and Mac Jones are all starting for their respective franchises in Week 1.
Alabama quarterbacks face-off as divisional rivals
Jones and Tagovailoa are both lightning-rod topics among NFL fans and analysts. Opinions of the two range greatly depending on who you talk to, but they both have the opportunity to change the fortune of not just their NFL teams but the Crimson Tide as well.
For all the first-round NFL Draft talent Alabama produces, they haven’t had a first-round quarterback since 1976. Now, they produce them in back-to-back seasons.
Tua had a quiet rookie season, but he battled back from a gruesome hip injury to play in 2020. He did not look like the Alabama quarterback we saw pre-injury. Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow both overshadowed Tua in their respective rookie seasons. The Dolphins also had Ryan Fitzpatrick in-house, who had a better grasp of the playbook and has a history of super-hot spells of play.
But the Tua criticism also comes from his middling physical tools, at least when compared to the likes of Herbert. His counterpart in Week 1 faced the same kind of criticism as the NFL Draft neared. Jones battled against big-armed athletes in Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Trevor Lawrence, and Zach Wilson.
In the end, he ended up being the fifth quarterback drafted. He fell to the New England Patriots, who are obviously one of the best franchises in the NFL and have been for the entirety of Bill Belichick’s tenure.
It surprised many when the Patriots cut Cam Newton, but Jones had outperformed him during camp and in the preseason. The Patriots spent a ton of money in the offseason, surrounding the Alabama quarterback with more offensive weapons than they fielded in 2020.
Now, we get the matchup we all wanted. The former teammates battle for supremacy in the AFC East.
Don’t forget about Jalen Hurts
Hurts looked fantastic in the preseason in limited action. He’s also currently playing well against the Atlanta Falcons through three quarters. Hurts transferred from Alabama after Tua overtook him as the Crimson Tide quarterback following Tagovailoa’s championship heroics as a freshman.
Hurts usurped Carson Wentz as the Eagles’ starter in 2020. So far, it seems to have been the right call in fantasy to go with Hurts.