Much to the disappointment—if not the shock—of some Alabama Crimson Tide football fans, Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has made the decision that he will enter the 2020 NFL Draft.
In a Press Conference at the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility, the junior told reporters and fans he has had a "difficult time making this decision." He went on to share the following comments.
"My love for the University of Alabama, our coaches, our fans and my teammates has made this especially hard for me. I’ve had the advice and counsel of my parents, my family and coaches in going through the analysis of the alternatives. And without further ado, with lots of prayers, thoughts and guidance, I have decided I will be declaring and entering the 2020 NFL Draft.”
National Insider for the NFL Network and NFL.com, Ian Rapoport shared the news of Tagovailoa's decision, and his feeling that Tua would likely be a first-rounder, even with the hip injury.
Tagovailoa suffered said hip injury (a dislocated right hip) back on November 16th in a game against Mississippi St., and while Tua quickly underwent surgery and rehab, he wasn't able to suit up again during the 2019 season.
It is reasonable to assume that his hip injury played a huge role in his decision to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft. Tua seemed to be leaning in that direction in interviews following the injury, and declaring early while his stock is still high makes sense.
One obvious question is how high Tua Tagovailoa's stock will actually be come the 2020 NFL Draft. As noted earlier, Ian Rapoport believes that Tua will still go in the first round, but there are lingering questions about such an injury.
While Tua's specific type of dislocation is different from the injury Bo Jackson experienced, as Laura Rutledge of ESPN and the SEC Network pointed out back in November, we all remember how Jackson's injury ended his career. There have been other notable players who have suffered a similar injury and continued to play after rehab, such as C.J. Mosley, but Bo Jackson's career-ending injury does linger in our collective minds, and may in the minds of NFL owners as well.
It will be very interesting to see how the 2020 NFL Draft pans out with regard to Tagovailoa. Will he, in fact, go early in the first round as predicted? Will he end up with the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, or some other team? Will we learn more about his injury as time passes? Only time will tell.