Will Tua Tagovailoa be taken in the top 10?

Sport

When I first heard talk of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who entered the 2019 season as the presumptive No. 1 overall pick in 2020, potentially sliding out of the top 10, my first thought was that maybe the team holding pick No. 11 is spreading it.

But the talk has become too persistent and widespread to ignore. It comes from a combination of Tua’s three lower-body injuries in three college seasons, lingering questions about his recovery from last year’s hip surgery, and scuttlebutt regarding other potential physical red flags. And the core problem continues to be the inability of teams to have their doctors examine Tagovailoa.

Teams don’t want to accept the word of any doctors other than the doctors they employ, since there’s a chance those doctors will skew their assessments in the player’s favor.

“We want our doctors to look at him because our doctors have accountability to us,” one source told PFT.

It’s unfortunate for Tua, because if he’s truly fine and if doctors had a full and fair chance to examine him, all questions possibly would be addressed to the satisfaction of a given team’s doctors.

But even if he’s healthy, his tendency to get injured is a concern — as is (as Simms has noticed in studying Tua’s film) his habit of getting hit awkwardly in a way that increases the chance of injury. Put it all together, and Tua could be ripe for a slide in nine nights.