Now that the Super Bowl is over, our attention is turned down the road towards the future-- specifically, the 2020 NFL Draft. Colin Cowherd chimed in to that particular discussion today on The Herd, when he explained why he'd take Tua Tagovailoa No. 1 overall over any other prospect:
Cowherd spent the first part of the segment attempting to deconstruct the argument that Tagovailoa is injury-prone after the Alabama product suffered a hip injury that ended his season. His argument essentially boiled down to "Everyone gets hurt and there's no such thing as a perfect quarterback prospect."
He then went on to gush over Tagovailoa's extremely impressive resume built over two years and change at Alabama; he won 22 games and lost only two, he threw 87 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, and completed 69 percent of his passes. Cowherd said he had never seen those stats from a college QB, that they were video game numbers, and made all the more impressive by the fact that he was going up against SEC defenses.
While the segment served as more of a soap box upon which Cowherd could complain about how injuries in college shouldn't be used against a prospect, he also fails to mention the man who Tagovailoa is competing for top draft position with: one Joe Burrow. This same man threw for 5,617 yards and 60 touchdowns last season with only six picks. He broke the FBS record for most touchdown passes in a season. Also against SEC defenses, as it so happens! Tagovailoa's best (and only full) season came in 2018, when he threw 43 touchdowns and three interceptions for a total of 3,966 yards.
Tagovailoa's career numbers in college are indeed insane. But if you want to talk about video game numbers, Burrow's season is far more comparable. And he didn't get the added benefit of not having to play Alabama like Tagovailoa.
This isn't to knock Tagovailoa. Far from it. Generally speaking, Cowherd's argument isn't that crazy. Even with the season Burrow had, if Tagovailoa had stayed healthy, he would have been neck-and-neck with Burrow for the top overall selection. But Cowherd saying he has never seen numbers like Tagovailoa's before from a college quarterback, when Burrow just put together perhaps the greatest individual campaign from a college quarterback ever, is a bit confounding.