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NFL Draft Mailbag: Tony Pauline on Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts, and more

2020 NFL Draft: Miami Dolphins 7-Round Mock Draft
Photo Credit: USA Today

Every week, I open up the mailbag for anyone to send me their questions. This week, the mailbag included a question on the NFL Draft outlook for the current Heisman Trophy frontrunner, Jalen Hurts. Other inquiries included two prospects at the top of the 2020 NFL Draft class in Tua Tagovailoa and Chase Young. In fact, what some scouts are saying about Tagovailoa may surprise you.

Do you have a question you want to send in? Send it to [email protected], and we’ll be sure to include it in an upcoming mailbag column. 

Tony, is it going to be three years in a row for Oklahoma putting their QB in the first round? If not, what round do you see Jalen Hurts going?

Hurts, who was atop our list as a Week 5 Riser, has improved his game immeasurably and is really developing as a complete passer. Ironically, he received almost the exact same grade coming into the season that former Sooner signal-caller Baker Mayfield received entering his senior campaign.

Right now, I think Hurts is a day two prospect, something unimaginable three years ago.  Could he move into the first-round? Yes. If he continues to improve and then has a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl, Hurts could be in the first-round picture, which would change everything.

How ironic and how much fun is it going to be watching Hurts return to the state of Alabama for the Senior Bowl?! Talk about a storyline!

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Tony, Rutgers just fired Chris Ash as their head coach. Any chance someone like Clemson DC Brent Venables gets the gig or is he waiting for a more established program to come calling?

I am sure Rutgers will call. But at this point, the program is in such shambles that it may be tough to get a high-profile coordinator to take the gig.  They may end up with someone trying to resurrect his career.  Greg Schiano makes so much sense, but I don’t know if the University will consider him.

Is Ohio State’s Chase Young a better prospect than the likes of Jadeveon Clowney, either of the Bosa brothers or Myles Garrett were? If not, what separates them from Young?

I don’t think that he is close to those four.  

First of all, those guys were better football players where Young is an athletic edge-rusher that needs to improve his overall game.

I also think the three guys you mentioned were solid run defenders, whereas Young is a liability against the run at times.  He will finally go up against some decent offensive tackles this weekend when the Buckeyes take on Michigan State, so it will be a nice opportunity for him.

Utah running back Zack Moss makes plays on a regular basis every time I watch him. Can he legitimately be the top RB prospect in the draft?

No, there are at least a handful of underclassmen I grade ahead of Moss. From the senior class, I grade Moss behind Ke’Shawn Vaughn of Vanderbilt.

Coming into the season, there was a big spread in the way scouts graded Moss – some had him as a third-round prospect, while others thought sixth-round. I graded him as an early fourth-round pick.

The shoulder issue is now a cause for concern, and if he does not finish the season healthy, it will be a red flag.

Can you tell us what scouts see in Tua Tagovailoa that separates him so clearly from the other quarterbacks in the 2020 class?

First – a lot of scouts view Tagovailoa as very ordinary and not very special.  

I reported on my BLEAV podcast a few weeks ago about a growing belief in the scouting community, which is getting louder. The belief is that Jordan Love could be the first quarterback selected if he enters the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Those who are high on Tagovailoa love his physical skills, decision-making, and play-making ability. The fact that he has been in so many high-pressure situations also appeals to many teams.

Do you have a question you want to send in? Send it to [email protected], and we’ll be sure to include it in an upcoming mailbag column. 

Follow Pro Football Network on Twitter: @PFN365 and look out for tweets at the beginning of the week where you can ask me any questions related to the college football landscape or NFL Draft prospects. Be sure to also follow me on Twitter: @TonyPauline for the latest around the 2020 NFL Draft.

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