Trent Dilfer: Tua "the finest QB prospect I ever evaluated"

And before you say, “So what? It’s Trent Dilfer,” read on.

Tua "is the finest prospect I’ve ever evaluated,” former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer said. “From horsepower standpoint, he has the rpms (revolutions per minute) that most don’t have. His intuitive feel [in the pocket] is much like [Patrick] Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. Those guys have eyes in the back of their heads. They just create space and time for themselves.”

According to Dilfer, who spent a decade as an analyst for the NFL Network and ESPN, and the past 10 years coaching and mentoring quarterbacks in the Elite 11 program, a QB competition for high school quarterbacks across nation, Tagovailoa is “the best” prospect he’s ever worked with.

Over the past decade, the best quarterbacks to come out of the Elite 11 program have been Tampa Bay starter Jameis Winston, a Heisman Trophy and national championship winner at Florida State, New Orleans backup Teddy Bridgewater, a South Florida native who starred at Louisville, Rams starter Jared Goff, who played at the University of California before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft, and Houston’s Deshaun Watson, who won a national championship at Clemson.

For the sake of perspective, it should be pointed out that there are more former Elite 11 quarterbacks who finish their careers as college backups than players who make it to the NFL. So Dilfer’s perspective isn’t flawless.

However, the 13-year NFL veteran is well respected in league circles, and his insight is often sought out by NFL teams this time of year.

So when teams start calling about this year’s crop of quarterbacks they’ll get a speech about Tagovailoa, who was the MVP of the 2016 Elite 11 quarterback class.

“His leadership qualities are second to none. He’s smart. He’s tough,” Dilfer continued. “He’s the finest prospect I’ve ever evaluated, and that’s 10 years of guys who are already in the NFL.”

But muh 32-year-old QB with broken back issues each of the past two seasons who’s never won a thing!

Sorry Trent. The Lions are duty-bound to take a good-but-not-elite, safe, high-floor Bob Quinn kinda guy.

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Hopefully he attracts teams to want to trade up for him. The Lions are in a great position to get a haul for him if he looks healthy.

You’re our resident QB expert. You see the things others do not.

Why weren’t you telling us this stuff about Tua?

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In my opinion they should try to trade down and get extra picks.But have to admit I’m starting to feel like they will regret it like its just there luck to pass him up and he turns out to be great for 12 years.While this wouldn’t necessarily be a great pick for Patrica if Tua played towards the end of the season and looked good that could be a saving grace for Quinn.

I have only seen Tua one time as I am very busy these days on the weekends with new girlfriend.

I will take a peek at some film when we get closer to the draft. There are a lot of guys that look good in a good situation. I will see if it is more than that.

I saw Burrow only in the Championship game and have never seen Herbert at this point.

It’s worth noting, if I’m reading this correctly, that Dilfer is basing his take on Tua off his experiences with him in the Elite 11 program. Which means pre-hip injury.

So, as it always does, it goes back to independent doctors saying he will make a full recovery with no limitations. If he gets that, I think you go back to the views of him like Dilfer has. Like last year, when everybody was ga-ga with “tank for Tua” talk.


To drop a 3OA on a QB that had a devastating hip injury who also hasn’t won a thing in the NFL.


ankle “issue” as well, but nothing concerns me like the dislocated hip thing. ankle thing was minor. high ankle sprain I believe it was.

This debate on Tua and what people think of him is mute…

Tua is a hell of prospect , not debatable , you may like another QB better or for your team but TUA the prospect and talent are undeniable …

The only problem, that TUA no longer exists, the prospect he was is shattered this is like beating a dead horse here . NO PERSON ON EARTH CAN SAY WHAT TUA WILL BE …not a sole .

He is severely damaged goods , no player or QB ever has played with the injury he sustained and with the hardware permanently implanted in his body …this was not a BO Jackson injury or any other player hip related injury …His injury was much worse .

He is a gamble 1000% he could be Patrick Mahomes like this season and lose it and develop AVR or debilitating arthritis …The scans now and in April will only tell if the earliest forms of either have started to set in …with no bearing on if and when it could happen 10 months from now .

Besides all of this will he ever be the same , the choice needed to be made, will be made by teams that will have no access to any film post injury , no real running , is he gun shy now , will he play worried …Some GM is going to look like a total genius or a complete moron … for the investment in Tua and really it will only be in the dept of him playing healthy …the real evaluation can and will still show up once games are played. It would not shock me in the least if he dropped out of the 1st round .


Let’s hope the Lions do a very good job evaluating all QBs. Bevell seems to scout really well.

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I just got a chill…


Bevell gets a lot of credit for Wilson , I guess it is deserved . No evaluation is needed on Tua , nothing to evaluate at this point , what he put on tape in College is not relevant any longer …

If Tua was going to be the 1st overall pick pre injury (That’s debatable) and he only drops 4 slots and is drafted by Miami or sooner and he accomplishes this with his injury and a metal plate and screws and a device limiting his inner hip rotation …he is a magician . That GM is either extremely desperate or has an owner saying do it and do it now because he says so.


I know this might sound shallow and uninformed. But I just can’t trust any QB from Alabama, no matter how good they may look on Saturdays. None of them ever amount to much in the NFL.

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Of all the QBs that could be available at three… this guy is not in my 1% list.

He is a risk

I hope the best for him but not as a lion :lion:

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I’m no expert but with the new technology these days, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he gets close to 100% come pro day.

Maybe he will have a cyborg hip and be better. :grin:

He is having a throwing session supposedly at some point …okay great how about the hip ? If he is not not doing the other work it answers no questions and even if he did do the other work …(he wont be) it would answer nothing as far as long term or if the other issues are waiting around the corner.
Others have said we have no idea exactly what injury he had one place says this the other says that …blah, blah , blah

What we know for sure …He completely dislocated his hip , that shit did not pop out and back in on it’s own, and it had to be reduced and was at the stadium. The agony he must have been in is unthinkable. This alone makes his injury different than any other player ever to sustain this injury at the NFL level . Bo claims to have popped his slightly dislocated hip back in himself. Doctors said it was just a hip strain which was nonsense, Bo’s had to have been similar to Mosley , neither had surgery for the dislocation at the time . Bo’s surgery was way after the injury happened.
Mosley injury was a pop out and in , one motion scenario , the equivalent of a hyper extension , his the least of the three .

What we know for sure with Tua …the head of his femur bone fractured his hip significantly …How do we know this? …Tua himself told the world post surgery he may never be the same and that the metal he has implanted in his hip is designed to limit the inner rotation of the hip. According to my Ortho Surgeon friend, This means the injury and the damage was so bad, the structure of the hip was compromised from the stand point of his body alone not being able to hold his hip in any longer with any confidence . That is the only time a limiting device of this nature is implanted .
What else does this mean?
He lost bone, never mind the fracture that in the hip will require a plate and screws to hold it all together, it also means his hip was surgically dislocated again after it was reset at the stadium post injury, this is done in order to put all the metal in and is done to remove the fragments that get caught in the socket after a blind reducing that involved a fracture , they reduce the hip quickly in order to limit the possibility of a AVN , but at a cost …and in his case had to have it all done again and worst case scenario was present , fractures and the device he has now was implanted the fix …all of this and that does not even bring in the possible AVN and blood supply loss , and long term arthritis or damage done done to ligaments and soft tissue.

This guy is such damaged goods, and with no precedent set as far as anyone else ever playing after this … it’s scary.
Availability is everything , guys dropping Draft rounds like flies because of anger issues/ violence or Drug use as if any NFL team truly cares about those issues , it’s the availability to play that they are concerned with and suspensions …
Tua is a QB so he will get extra consideration but his availability is in serious doubt .

I think the whole Tua early thing is media driven and not real , a feel good story of a come back , how far will he slide draft day headline …When a team says I’m taking him and his name is announced… I will believe it then and think myself at the earliest it will be second round selection or maybe a team like Miami with the second of the first 2 draft picks in the first or a Patriots selection to try and strike lightning with a Tua pick … Kraft has balls .

This Tua crap brings me back to the Den and the arguments I had over Marcus Lattimore RB, back in 2012 or 13 …This guys last injury was so bad …he would be a bust of a pick and never play, you do not waste a pick on a guy with the type of injury he sustained it was underrepresented. Every draft article was how this guy was different, he would be a steal …Dr James Andrews saying he was on schedule for a full recovery etc, etc etc …full recovery does not mean you will again be an elite athlete . …I was told see the 49ers took him in the 4th …He never played a single snap in an NFL game.

I do not think anyone would disagree that he’s a gamble.

But … if healthy he’s the best QB in this class and he is a clear number 1 prospect. He’s the type of prospect that can turn an organization around. Think Peyton Manning and what Indy was before him. He’s that good and I think if there’s a decent chance he could return to form that someone will take that gamble. It wouldn’t shock me if he went first overall to be honest.

This is why I think the Lions should be diligent and take a serious look at him. This is why I think teams may buy into the fact that the Lions could indeed draft him and hopefully be willing yo pay a premium to trade up. The more buzz around Tua the better it is for the Lions. That much is clear.

It does occur to me that their WR corps would probably be top-10 in the NFL. At least top-15.

And I watched Willis McGahee have the nastiest knee injury I ever saw in his bowl game, and go on to have a great, productive 10-year NFL career.


FYI - Tua announced yesterday that he plans to participate in the scouting combine to prove he’s healthy.