Tierney: I Would Draft Healthy Tua Over Burrow

Tua Tagovailoa's stock is rising, and Joe Burrow doesn't have the leverage he thinks he does, Brandon Tierney says

Tiki and Tierney
February 26, 2020 - 9:30 am

Joe Burrow has small hands. That was the biggest quarterback takeaway from the NFL Combine, where Burrow’s hands measured just nine inches, which would be tied with Jared Goff for the smallest hands of any potential No. 1 pick since 2003. 

Burrow’s response? A joke on Twitter. “Considering retirement after I was informed the football will be slipping out of my tiny hands. Please keep me in your thoughts,” Burrow joked.

Is that funny? Yes. But it’s also a reminder that Burrow might not have the leverage he thinks he has if he’s thinking of pulling an Eli Manning.

“If Joe wants to get a little cavalier with this, it’s certainly his right,” Brandon Tierney said on Tiki & Tierney. “It’s his future, so I don’t begrudge him. But he does not have the leverage he thinks he has. I’m sorry, he just doesn’t have it.”

Tiki Barber agrees. Burrow may have had the greatest season in college football history, but it’s also possible he’s a one-year wonder. He threw 60 touchdown passes in 2019, but he threw just 16 in 2018.

That’s quite a difference.

“How is he the greatest quarterback when in reality what teams look for is consistency?” Barber asked. “Other than the injury issue with Tua, the most consistent quarterback in this draft is probably Tua or Justin Herbert. It’s not Joe Burrow, who had an explosive best season of all time with the Heisman Trophy and national championship. But it’s a one-year story. That could be great because it could continue, or he could regress to the mean, which means somebody’s missing at wherever they draft him.”

Tua Tagovailoa, meanwhile, is recovering nicely from his dislocated and fractured hip.

“Listen, I really like [Burrow], but I’m also on record: if Tua is healthy, I would draft Tua,” Tierney said. “I think most people probably side with that. The hip injury is not nearly as daunting or as much of an obstacle, I think, as we thought it might be. We talked to him at the Super Bowl, he was very confident, and the reports that came after it only back that up.”

Tagovailoa’s hands, for the record, measured 10 inches.

“As much as I like Joe – I like his talent and I like his moxie – I want to point this out,” Tierney said. “This response to his hand size, which is largely idiotic, the way he handles this shows me I believe he’s equipped to go to a bad team, feel some heat and emerge mentally unscathed. He responded in a funny, humorous way that I think with disarm distractors.”