A trio of former Alabama football star quarterbacks are looking to make their names in the NFL now between Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones.
Alabama football fans can thoroughly enjoy NFL Sundays these days with three signal-callers poised to be franchise quarterbacks in this league in Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones.
Tagovailoa and Hurts enter their second seasons as starters with the Miami Dolphins and the Philadelphia Eagles respectively, as Jones hopes to beat out Cam Newton at some point with the New England Patriots.
While a trio of Crimson Tide quarterbacks have bronze busts in Canton, which of these three is most likely to join Joe Namath, Ken Stabler or Bart Starr in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
Who will have the best NFL career between Hurts, Jones and Tagovailoa. Let’s forecast a bit.
Alabama football QBs: Who has best NFL career: Hurts, Jones, Tagovailoa?
Entering 2021, one would think Tagovailoa is ahead of Hurts and Jones in that regard. The Dolphins were one win away from making the AFC Playoffs last year. While he was benched twice in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tagovailoa has more starting experience over Hurts, who played in the last quarter of the 2020 season with Philadelphia, and Jones, who is entering his rookie season.
From a pure talent perspective, Tagovailoa again edges out Hurts and Jones. There is a reason the Dolphins took him No. 5 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. Philadelphia waited until the second round to draft Hurts in the same draft by way of Oklahoma. Jones could have gone as high as No. 3 last year, but he was the fifth first-round quarterback taken at No. 15 by New England in late April.
But to be quite honest though, none of these quarterbacks have enough talent to truly overcome the organization they play for. Tagovailoa does not have a gun and is injury-prone. Hurts was not a pro prospect until thriving in Lincoln Riley’s Air Raid in Oklahoma. Jones could have lost the starting job last year to five-star Bryce Young out of camp. This is why you must bet on the team.
So the question is who do you believe is the better-run organization going forward: Miami, New England or Philadelphia? While you could argue for the Dolphins, the pressure is on Tagovailoa more than any of them because Miami is forever chasing the ghost of Dan Marino. We are really hoping he can be a healthier version of Sam Bradford at this point of his career. Fingers crossed.
As much fun as it is to root for Hurts as the ultimate underdog on a team like the Eagles, the Birds will be among the worst teams in the NFL this season. First-year head coach Nick Sirianni has the chance to go one-and-done. Even if Hurts embodies the blue-collar, lunchpail mentality of Philadelphia his predecessor never could, it will be awfully hard for him to thrive in dysfunction.
And that leads us back to Jones. Though Hurts and Tagovailoa are more athletic, Jones is going to the best organization and does not have to start right away in 2021. He can back up Newton in Foxborough and get well-acquainted in Josh McDaniels’ complex passing offense while playing for Bill Belichick. What we know is when he does play, he will be put into a good situation.
While we may not know if Jones is the least bit good until 2023, time is on his side in a way that it is not for Hurts or Tagovailoa. If he can play close to what he did last year for Alabama, Jones could be some version of Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff or Matt Ryan on the high-end in the NFL. That means you are going to Pro Bowls, reaching the playoffs and maybe even getting to a Super Bowl or two.
Ultimately, Jones has the best pro outlook because of the superior situation he finds himself in.