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D.J. Uiagalelei Has Brutally Honest Response To NFL Question

Most superstar college quarterbacks keep things very diplomatic when asked about which NFL teams they’d like to be drafted by. That makes D.J. Uiagalelei‘s answer to an NFL question at ACC Media Days pretty notable.

Uiagalelei was one of the top quarterback recruits in the country, before enrolling at Clemson last season. He had to wait his turn, with Trevor Lawrence entrenched at quarterback for the year, but he got an opportunity to impress when the eventual No. 1 pick went out with COVID-19.

In nine appearances, he completed 78-of-117 passes for 914 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions. At midseason, he started a pair of games—a win over Boston College and dramatic two overtime loss at Notre Dame—totaling 781 yards and four passing touchdowns, along with a rushing score in each game.

At 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, Uiagalelei is a physical specimen, with an unbelievable arm. He’ll be in the first-round conversation when the 2023 NFL Draft rolls around, and he already knows one thing about his NFL future: he wants to head to a team in a state without income tax.

His options are limited there, and obviously he doesn’t have a ton of control over where he goes. Some of these franchises are pretty well set at quarterback as well.

The teams without a state income tax:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Houston Texans
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Miami Dolphins
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Tennessee Titans

Those cities and states may have different sales taxes, property taxes, and other things that make some more advantageous than others. Still, the lack of income tax is a big plus for NFL players. It is often cited as a draw for free agents, though it’s very unclear how often it is a major factor in those decisions.

The Jacksonville Jaguars just took D.J. Uiagalelei’s former teammate Lawrence No. 1 overall. The Cowboys are probably out as well, given the huge, mostly-guaranteed deal that Dak Prescott just received. They may be the most set of these teams.

The Miami Dolphins, Las Vegas Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all appear to have franchise QBs on the roster, but for various reasons there is no guarantee that they will be when the 2023 NFL Draft rolls around. Tom Brady could retire, the Dolphins and Raiders could lose faith in Tua Tagovailoa and Derek Carr, respectively, and Russell Wilson had a flare-up with the Seahawks this offseason, though both sides assure everyone that things are good as of now.

The Titans’ Ryan Tannehill has been great over the last few years, though not everyone is sold on him as a top-flight guy. The Houston Texans are probably the best bet, with the Deshaun Watson situation leaving the team’s QB position very up in the air. If they wind up with a top pick in a few years, which seems quite likely, perhaps D.J. Uiagalelei can get himself on their radar.

[Grace Raynor]

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