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What are Tua Tagovailoa's Options? NFL Draft

Nov. 17, 2019 - Michael Stewart

What are Tua Tagovailoa's Options? NFL Draft

Introduction: Tua Tagovailoa sustained a dislocated hip against Mississippi State late in the 2nd quarter with the Tide leading 35-7. Many have questioned why Head Coach Nick Saban still had Tagovailoa still in the game; despite Saban later stating that the team wanted to work the 2 minute drill before the half. Regardless of why he left him or not, Tagovailoa’s injury has now raised questions if Tagovailoa should enter the 2020 draft or perhaps remain in school. Before the injury, there were rumblings of Tagovailoa’s health as he had sustained high ankle sprains on each ankle and the fear by many NFL teams was “if Tagovailoa can be durable enough to play in the NFL”.  Based on reports, the injury to Tagovailoa is similar to Bo Jackson’s hip injury; which basically shorten his career and lessened his productivity. Tagovailoa was rated as one of the top quarterbacks in the draft, along with Joe Burrow of LSU and Justin Herbert of Oregon. However; Tagovailoa must decide on whether to enter the 2020 NFL draft or return to school to build up his stock.  The determining factor will be if Tagovailoa can make a full recovery before the NFL combine/pro day to prove to all the NFL teams that he is able to perform at a high level. Keep in mind that in Tagovailoa’s short college career, he has had two ankle surgeries and a hip injury within the last year. It’s still unclear the extent of his injury, although previously mentioned above that many believe it’s similar to Bo Jacksons hip injury. Perhaps the best information on Tagovailoa’s hip injury was by NFL team doctor David Chao who quoted “Likely fracture dislocation of hip with acetabular fracture. Not saying career over but career threatening and certainly his draft stock is damaged. Too bad, hope for the best…and I wasn’t spreading doom and gloom which is why I didn’t directly compare Tua to Bo Jackson. The hip fracture dislocation didn’t end Bo’s career, the AVN (lack of blood flow) did. Tua doesn’t have that yet, Thus career threatening but not career ending yet. But Draft stock affected”.

Final Thoughts: The NFL draft is still a long ways away (April 23rd-25th) and the medical advancements have greatly improved since Bo Jackson’s injury, so we will have to wait and see how Tagovailoa recovers. If all goes well for the young quarterback and if he can prove to the NFL teams prior to the draft that he is completely healed and worthy of 1st overall considerations, then expect Tagovailoa to enter the 2020 NFL draft. However; if there are complications or Tagovailoa isn’t fully recovered in time for the 2020 draft; perhaps return to Alabama for another season would be his best option.