Tua Tagovailoa called it a “difficult time,” but he’s about to be comforted by the warm embrace of professional football.
The Alabama quarterback just announced that he was declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said he “has probably had as much of an impact on our program as any player we’ve ever had,” and at a school like Alabama, that’s saying something.
Now comes the question of when he’ll be drafted.
Tagovailoa’s status became complicated on Nov. 16 against Mississippi State, when he dislocated his hip and fractured the posterior wall. That required season-ending surgery, though the early reports on his recovery have been good.
If you work from the safe assumption that LSU quarterback Joe Burrow will go first overall to the Bengals, the rest of the top 10 creates some interesting possibilities.
Washington (picking second) and the Giants (fourth) just drafted quarterbacks in the first round last year, so they’re ostensibly out.
The Lions (third) have a lot of money tied up in Matthew Stafford, who was playing incredibly well before a back injury sidelined him the second half of the season.
The Dolphins (fifth) were the usual suspect back when Tagovailoa was still healthy and everyone thought they’d be picking higher, and they could provide a soft place to land.
The Chargers (sixth) and Panthers (seventh) could also make an easy case for drafting a quarterback this year as well.