Many expect Tua Tagovailia to be a top-5 pick. Prior to his hip injury, he was in the conversation for the top overall selection and he has the talent to be an upgrade for a number of NFL franchises at the quarterback position.
Former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi (as he explains on the GM Shuffle podcast) hears that at least two teams have “flunked” Tua for medical reasons. The quarterback’s hip is a concern, but there’s more. Teams are worried about the “multitude of injuries” Tagovailoa suffered in his collegiate career at the University of Alabama.
Lombardi mentions that one of the teams that flunked Tua is picking within the top-10. Joe Burrow is widely expected to go No. 1 overall and Tua could go as a high as two, but more likely between 3-6. However, if this latest news turns out to be underreported, Nick Saban’s QB could find himself waiting a while to hear his name on draft night.
Medical Concerns Beyond Tua’s Hip Injury
“It’s not just his hip,” Lombardi said. “It’s his ankle. It’s his wrist. He broke his wrist the first day of spring ball one year. … He’s brittle. He is brittle. You can’t deny it.”
It was previously reported that Tua suffered hand and thump injuries back in the spring of 2018 but now, it appears that the injury was a broken write broke his wrist. Tagovailoa also suffered two separate ankle injuries, each of which required surgery, and a knee injury while at Alabama.
“He’s a really good player,” Lombardi said. “… I’m not disputing the evaluation. I’m saying that, if you’re picking a quarterback, it’s really hard to pick a good one. It’s even harder with a guy who can’t stay healthy. That’s my point. Two teams I’ve talked to have flunked him. They flunked him on not just the hip, but on the multitude of injuries. The risk far outweighs the reward.”
Redskins Set On Player at No. 2
Washington could be zeroing in on Chase Young with the No. 2 overall pick.
“I’ve been told the Washington Redskins are not going to touch Tua,” ESPN’s Stephen A Smith said on First Take. “They’re going after Chase Young. They’re not drafting a quarterback. That’s what I’ve been told.”
The ESPN personality believes selecting Young is the right choice for the franchise. Smith is also concerned with the Alabama QB’s durability and he believes that the value of a potentially elite pass rusher is too valuable to pass up on.
“He’s the elite pass rusher in the upcoming draft. You’ve got the chance to take him with the No. 2 overall pick,” Smith said of Young. “Could you imagine if they pass on him and grab Tua, then Haskins doesn’t pan out and Tua gets hurt early? That would be problematic. You don’t want that.”
“…You can’t have a question mark at the quarterback position due to talent, then bring in an additional question mark due to durability in arguably the most violent sport that we know,” Smith added.