Tua Tagovailoa’s injury has placed the 2020 NFL draft at the forefront of fan’s minds with how the unfortunate news will impact boards moving forward. There is plenty of talent projected to be in the 2020 class which is good news for teams at the bottom of the NFL standings.
Tagovailoa’s family released a statement that makes it sound like the Alabama quarterback’s days in Tuscaloosa are done. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller reported that Alabama had an insurance policy for Tagovailoa which will allow him to recoupe lost money if the injury causes him to fall in the draft. This means Tagovailoa is likely to begin his rehab and enter the draft even if the injury hurts his stock a bit.
The big question is how NFL teams will evaluate Tagovailoa after the dislocated hip. The Alabama quarterback has now had surgery on both ankles and his hip in the last year. It would be a surprise if Tagovailoa’s injury concerns do not at least drop him a little bit in the draft.
When he is on the field, Tagovailoa is as talented a quarterback as there is in this class. ESPN’s Todd McShay has Tagovailoa as the No. 13 ranked player on his big board and still believes the Alabama quarterback is a first-round pick.
There have been plenty of cases of quarterbacks coming off injury and still being a first-round pick (think Sam Bradford, among others), and NFL teams will certainly want to capitalize on the fifth-year option that comes with a Day 1 selection, but this is no standard injury. Teams will have to take these medical concerns — along with his prior durability concerns as a whole — into serious consideration.
That said, I’d still rank Tagovailoa as QB1 above Burrow if he were healthy today, and I still have him as a first-round pick.
The 2020 NFL Draft Is Projected to Have the Best Group of Wide Receivers We Have Seen in Years
Heading into the season, we knew the upcoming draft was loaded at wide receiver, but it has gotten even deeper with the emergence of additional players. Devonta Smith has moved himself into the conversation with fellow Alabama receivers Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs. LSU’s Justin Jefferson and Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk have also emerged as potential first-round picks.
Tee Higgins and Laviska Shenault have upheld their draft stock to also be part of this group. We have not even mentioned a solid running back class led by D’Andre Swift and Jonathan Taylor to make the 2020 NFL draft full of offensive talent.
Here is a look at my latest NFL mock draft, and the order is based on the standings heading into Week 12, per Tankathon.com.
NFL Mock Draft 2020: 1st Round
|1. Bengals||QB Joe Burrow, LSU|
|2. Redskins||DE Chase Young, Ohio State|
|3. Giants||WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama|
|4. Dolphins||LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson|
|5. Jets||DT Derrick Brown, Auburn|
|6. Buccaneers||QB Justin Herbert, Oregon|
|7. Broncos||CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State|
|8. Falcons||DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina|
|9. Cardinals||WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma|
|10. Lions||T Andrew Thomas, Georgia|
|11. Chargers||T Tristan Wirfs, Iowa|
|12. Jaguars||S Grant Delpit, LSU|
|13. Browns||DE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa|
|14. Raiders (via Bears)||WR Henry Ruggs, Alabama|
|15. Eagles||CB CJ Henderson, Florida|
|16. Dolphins (via Steelers)||QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama|
|17. Titans||QB Jake Fromm, Georgia|
|18. Panthers||QB Jacob Eason, Washington|
|19. Colts||WR Tee Higgins, Clemson|
|20. Jaguars (via Rams)||DE Curtis Weaver, Boise St.|
|21. Raiders||OL Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin|
|22. Cowboys||S Xavier McKinney, Alabama|
|23. Chiefs||RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia|
|24. Vikings||WR Justin Jefferson, LSU|
|25. Dolphins (via Texans)||WR Devonta Smith, Alabama|
|26. Bills||WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado|
|27. Packers||DT Raekwon Davis, Alabama|
|28. Seahawks||DE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame|
|29. Ravens||RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin|
|30. Saints||CB Paulson Adebo, Stanford|
|31. Patriots||TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri|
|32. 49ers||LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma|