49ers trade for Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa in PFF 2021 NFL mock draft

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Dalton Johnson
·4 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

What if the 49ers traded No. 12 pick in 2021 draft for Tua? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Questions surrounding Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers' quarterback situation aren't going away. You might want them to, but they aren't. 

Will they go all-in on trying to trade for Houston Texans star Deshaun Watson? What about moving up in the 2021 NFL Draft for someone like Ohio State's Justin Fields or BYU's Zach Wilson? Well, perhaps there's an entirely different avenue the 49ers could take to add a young QB of the future. 

Pro Football Focus' Anthony Treash threw in a wild wrinkle to his latest mock draft released Monday morning. Treash has the Miami Dolphins taking Fields No. 3 overall, and then the 49ers trading the No. 12 pick to Miami for Tua Tagovailoa, who was the No. 5 pick in the draft last year. Full hypothetical trade details weren't explained here, but the 49ers turning to Tua certainly is an interesting proposition. 

Tagovailoa had a decent rookie season. He didn't live up to his draft slot, but let's look at his season through a wider lens. The Dolphins handed the keys to Tua in Week 8 after their bye, naming him the starter over Ryan Fitzpatrick. He finished his rookie year going 6-3 as a starter. The former Alabama star completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,814 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions -- three of which came in the final game of the regular season. He also ran for 109 yards and three more TDs. 

As a rookie, Tagovailoa was more concerned with not making mistakes as opposed to airing it out down the field as he did in college. Watson led the league in yards gained per pass attempt at 8.9 yards. Tagovailoa averaged just 6.3. More than once the Dolphins turned to the veteran Fitzpatrick late in games as they competed for a playoff spot, one in which they fell short. 

But Tagovailoa entered his rookie year after an odd offseason. He sustained a dislocated hip and posterior wall fracture in the ninth game of his junior year. Following the serious injury, surgery and long rehab, he didn't have the same offseason schedule that rookie QBs usually have due to COVID-19 restrictions and no preseason games. The Dolphins also had a suspect offensive line, and his offensive weapons out wide were nothing compared to what he was used to in college. 

Tagovailoa looked more like a game manager than a future star as a rookie. However, I'd still bet on the 22-year-old. This still is the same QB who opened eyes with his game-winning bomb in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship as a freshman, and then followed that up with 76 passing touchdowns to just nine interceptions over his next 24 games. 

What's the ingredient to a championship team in the NFL? For the most part, it all starts with elite QB play, and it especially helps when your quarterback is on a rookie contract. 

RELATED: NFL draft prospects 49ers should watch in national championship

Surrounding Tagovailoa, who of course is on a cheap rookie deal, with offensive weapons like receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle and running back Raheem Mostert (along with restricted free agent Jeff Wilson Jr.) could be exactly what the 49ers need to create a Super Bowl-winning roster. They're in salary-cap hell right now, especially if they bring Garoppolo back next season. They must re-sign free-agent offensive tackle Trent Williams, and do what they can to lock up linebacker Fred Warner to a long-term contract ASAP. 

Trading for Tagovailoa isn't a rumor that has been floated around. But hey, we would all take a hypothetical world over the real one right now. The Hawaii native, who has Bay Area ties, could make sense in building a real, and fake, roster to win it all.

Download and subscribe to the 49ers Talk Podcast