If Jake Plummer were on the clock in the NFL draft and needed a QB ... he tells TMZ Sports he'd go with Justin Herbert over Tua Tagovailoa -- and says it's actually an easy choice.
"I would steer away from any damaged goods," the former NFL QB says.
Tua has battled SEVERAL key injuries in his 3-year Bama career ... most notably suffering a dislocated hip last November -- and Plummer says those are just too many red flags for him.
"I would be leery about injuries he's sustained already," Jake says of Tua. "They're not like a broken hand, or a sprained wrist, or something pretty similar. He's working with hips and he's had some problems with his knees, I believe."
Plummer says Herbert, meanwhile, doesn't have nearly the same question marks ... and, in fact, he thinks the Oregon QB might be the better overall prospect regardless.
Jake tells us he's worked out with Herbert in Los Angeles this year ... and has even spent time with him at the College Football Hall of Fame -- and would have no issues drafting the 22-year-old in the top 10.
"He's also a big lump of clay," Plummer says. "And, the right coach, the right system could mold him into what I believe could be almost the future of the QB position."
As for Jake's advice for rookies heading into the NFL after this week's selection process ... he's telling them to enjoy the family time for now -- because the NFL is a straight-up whirlwind.
By the way, Plummer's developed an app with his Ready List Sports company that he believes could help NFL teams develop their rookies MUCH faster than previous years!!