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UPDATED: Up, Down or Slide: Is this the beginning of a drop in rankings for Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa?

Updated 4/20/2020

The news keeps coming in on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and it’s not good.

More draft analysts have said in recent days that several teams’ medical staffs have given the celebrated junior signal-caller a flunking medical grade.

Add Tagovailoa’s injury history with the virus-mandated restrictions, and it’s possible that Tagovailoa will fall outside the top-5.

If not top 5, then, how about top 10? Probably.

From The Athletic’s Bob McGinn in his preview of the top quarterbacks:

“I’m playing the odds,” an AFC personnel man told McGinn. “I don’t want to put my whole franchise on a left-handed, beat-up, 6-foot quarterback. No thank you.”

However, Tagovailoa still has his share of fans among analysts and is almost universally seen as a top-10 pick.

From NFL.com’s Chad Reuter in his latest mock draft:

“… Tua is exactly the sort of player on whom I’d take a chance. … Whichever franchise selects Tua next week will reap the benefits for the next decade or more.”

Reuter has Tagovailoa going to the Chargers with the sixth overall pick.

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s injury history is well-documented by now. At one time viewed as the No. 1 overall prospect, the junior signal caller’s draft stock has come into question following a season-ending hip injury that required surgery.

But Tagovailoa is said to be completely healed, and there have been persistent rumors that Miami or another team may trade up in the draft to select him.

Passing Table
Year School Conf Class Pos G Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
*2017 Alabama SEC FR QB 8 49 77 63.6 636 8.3 9.9 11 2 175.0
*2018 Alabama SEC SO QB 15 245 355 69.0 3966 11.2 12.8 43 6 199.4
*2019 Alabama SEC JR QB 9 180 252 71.4 2840 11.3 13.4 33 3 206.9
Career Alabama 474 684 69.3 7442 10.9 12.7 87 11 199.4

Now comes this news from former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi, via The Palm Beach Post:

“Two teams I’ve talked to have flunked him (in their pre-draft physicals),” Lombardi said, adding that one of the teams is in the top 10 of the April 23-25 draft. “They flunked him on not just the hip. It’s the multitude of injuries. The risk far outweighs the reward.”


However, as The Palm Beach Post points out, the NFL discontinued all physicals related to the draft and free agency on March 23 due to the pandemic, so it’s unclear when Tagovailoa would have taken one.

Either way, Lombardi said on the GM Shuffle podcast that the problems with Tagovailoa go beyond the hip; rather, it’s a combination of his previous injuries that allegedly has teams worried.


Jake Rigdon (jake@sydwriting.com) covers the NFL draft for Fanspeak and the On The Clock, which is the only NFL draft simulator that allows you to customize and use your own big board while giving you control over trades.

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