Tua Tagovailoa is one of the most talented prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft. But the former Alabama star quarterback is reportedly now in serious danger of experiencing a humbling slide on draft day.
According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, the lingering medical concerns surrounding Tagovailoa could send his draft stock plummeting. Once considered a top-three pick, Tagovailoa could now be in danger of experiencing an Aaron Rodgers or Teddy Bridgewater-like slide in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Many expected Rodgers to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Instead, the San Francisco 49ers selected Alex Smith and Rodgers slid to the No. 24 overall pick. Of course, that worked out quite well for the future Hall of Famer and the Green Bay Packers.
Bridgewater experienced an even more profound slide in the 2014 NFL Draft. Viewed by many as a potential top-five selection, concern over Bridgewater’s durability and his arm strength sent him tumbling down the board. He nearly made it out of the first round before the Minnesota Vikings traded up for him.
There are no NFL teams questioning Tagovailoa’s talent. Scouts compared him to Drew Brees for his exceptional accuracy and some mentioned his similarities to Patrick Mahomes for his ability to throw on the run.
It all comes down to concern for Tagovailoa’s long-term ability. Some around the league believe he will eventually need a hip replacement. Multiple teams have also reportedly failed Tagovailoa medically on their draft reports.
Teams aren’t just concerned about the hip injury he suffered this past season. He also underwent surgeries on both ankles during his collegiate career, along with a broken index finger and a broken wrist. NFL teams spending a top pick want to know they can count on their quarterback being available for years to come, which is even less of a guarantee with Tagovailoa.
If Tagovailoa slips past the Los Angeles Chargers with the No. 6 overall pick, the Las Vegas Raiders could be a potential landing spot. However, general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden have expressed confidence in their quarterback room with Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota.
In the event Tagovailoa slips past the Raiders, then he’ll likely be in for a dramatic fall. It might be until the New England Patriots are on the clock with the No. 23 overall pick that his slide could end. If even Bill Belichick doesn’t want to take the chance, history could repeat itself at the No. 24 overall pick with the New Orleans Saints.
There is no denying Tagovailoa is a gifted player and he can be a great quarterback at the next level. But given the medical risks, don’t be surprised if he tumbles in the 2020 NFL Draft.