Tua Tagovailoa is now a member of the Miami Dolphins and Justin Herbert is a Los Angeles Charger.
At the time of their selections at fifth and sixth overall in the NFL Draf,t respectively, Mel Kiper Jr. proposed that they both sit during their rookie seasons. On Monday, Kiper appeared on ESPN's NFL Live to clarify the comments that he made during draft weekend.
Regarding Tua, Kiper believes that his injury history should warrant sitting behind incumbent starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. He also pointed to the building offensive line needing time to gel before it's safe to throw the injury-prone Tua to the wolves.
“I said from the get go, I would sit Tua,” Kiper said, per 247Sports. “He would not take a snap in a regular-season game. Let his body heal, medically redshirt him. People say, ‘well anybody can get hurt.’ This Miami line is being rebuilt, restricted. Austin Jackson, the first-rounder is a developmental left tackle. I love Robert Hunt and I think they’ve got some guys up front that can do it, but develop that line before you put Tua out there.”
As for Herbert, Kiper thinks that he could be ready to come in midseason. But in the interim, quarterback Tyrod Taylor is experienced enough that the Chargers could afford to let him sit for a while.
Of course, Kiper isn't accounting for the possibility of Tua or Herbert winning the starting job outright.
Since 2017, Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Sam Darnold and Kyler Murray are the only first-round quarterbacks who were named Day 1 starters in their rookie seasons.
Will Tua or Herbert join those four, or will the Dolphins and Chargers take Mel Kiper's advice and sit them?