The Miami Dolphins used their No. 6 pick to reunite Tua Tagovailoa with former Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle, and the rookie wide receiver says the quarterback's presence is helping him acclimate to the NFL.
"He's just a natural-born leader. He's confident, knows what to do, and he's very smart," Waddle said of Tagovailoa on Thursday after signing his rookie contract, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel's Safid Deen.
"Everything you look for in a leader, I feel like Tua showcases and presents."
Tagovailoa had an inconsistent rookie campaign after being taken fifth overall last year. He split time with Ryan Fitzpatrick and was twice benched for shaky performances late in the season while Miami made a playoff push.
The 23-year-old finished the season with 1,814 yards and 11 touchdowns against five interceptions in 10 games (nine starts). He also rushed for 109 yards and three scores.
While the Dolphins reportedly flirted with the possibility of trading for Deshaun Watson prior to the Houston Texans quarterback's legal issues, they now appear set on giving Tagovailoa every opportunity to establish himself as a franchise player.
In addition to bolstering Tagovailoa's receiver group with Waddle and free-agent signing Will Fuller, Miami opted not to bring back Fitzpatrick, who joined the Washington Football Team in free agency.
The AFC East club did seemingly sign an insurance policy in backup Jacoby Brissett, who started for the Indianapolis Colts in 2017 and 2019.