Tua Tagovailoa's Recovery Shakes Up the NFL Draft

ESPN Daily


Time last year to ten goodbye. Loa was the consensus number one overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft but when a devastating hip injury in November ended his season at Alabama his NFL future was cast into doubt now with new reports. That too is recovery is on track. Teams are debating whether his elite talent is worth the risk and the entire draft. Looks like mystery? I mean at times? It's Tuesday February. Eighteenth this is espn daily presented by ADT. Todd Todd mcshay is an NFL draft in college football analyst for ESPN so todd. The last time we saw Tunga Velo on a football field. He was getting started off with a hip injury and it ended his season and Alabama title hopes along with it. News broke last week regarding the status of his recovery. What we know now well first of all I was there that day and it was brutal to watch behind. He's down to us. Down Helmet came off. This is exactly what you did not want to see happen and I was probably ten. Maybe twenty yards away from him as the to. Mississippi state defenders converged on him. And you could just tell right away. Something was wrong but then I saw the bloody nose at first and they said the trainers got. The plastic wraps in there has the gloves on their hands and and I just thought all right. They're they're just taking care of his nose and he'll be done for the day and then he went to stand up and you could tell just how deep his knee drove his leg into his hip that something was seriously wrong so it's good to hear that he has passed his first test. If you will sources confirm to ESPN at the most recent tests show is healing well and has good range of motion to what could get back to football activities in a month if he continues to progress well and is now moving onto the second phase of of the Rehab and recovery stage. There's still a lot left to determine and there's still a lot of rehab to go so that's going to be the biggest thing in terms of his evaluation between now and late. April's draft is where is he? And what are the doctors really? Think about the long-term WanNa talk to you about his injury and the draft. And you know the time line for all of that but I I wanNA talk to you. About what a good football player he is because prior to that injury he was the base star in college football. And you've been watching him for a long time wind it I strike you. This guy's got this stuff how `bout that throw in the national championship talk. He had never started a game and now he's in the National Championship with the game on the line he was coming off of a bad play was able to shake it off. He's keeping his is down the middle of the field and he's working that safety just a little bit to the right. He's trying to move the safety as much as he can because if he does. He knows that he has Smith's breaking down the sidelines. The is move the safety just enough for him to go back to Smith and make the throw of the year. I mean he just knew the spot that he had to get it to and to come in the second half and to have the confidence to lead Alabama to a victory. That kind of told me everything about him. And from that point he kept developing. But if you go back and just really study his tape the things that make him special his deep accuracy is as good as you're gonNA say he's so quick twitch he's like a drew brees from the left handed side you know just how how works in the pocket and goes from one read to the next but keeps his is married to his feet. He fits what you want in today's NFL. But is he going to be healthy enough to with that hip recovery to to have that quick twitch nece and and the ability to to move as quickly as he has tie? You're around these players but also these programs. What did you hear about how to? Oh was handling the injury in his rehab process. Everyone loves him. There's a calmness and a poise about him that you rarely see with with college quarterbacks or any college player so. I'd like to leave you with this from one of my favorites McGraw songs. When you get where you're going don't forget turn back around and have the next one in line. Always stay humble and kind so confident but so humble talking. Nfl SCOUTS IN GM's not a negative word about him. He's a special human being and wherever he winds up going. He's going to be the face of the franchise obviously but he's kind of a culture changer if you will and and. I think that's part of the draw in part of his value. It's not just this injury right. He's had other injuries that have caused him to miss time. He broke a finger sprained. A knee injured his quad. The ankles even before all of this. How much of a concern with that? It's a big. It really is a big concern and the problem is if you study the history of it if you look back. I think it's the last ten years or seven quarterbacks that had college injuries there were first round draft picks that all of them have had some varying kind of durability issues in the NFL from Rg. Three to SAM. Bradford Shawn Watson Marcus Mariota Carson wentz Teddy Bridgewater Jake Locker. All of these guys have gone on to have injuries now. They're not always the same injuries. Some guys are are just injury-prone and just knowing. Nfl teams in the amount of time and the amount of studies that they do. Especially at this position. Especially with first round picks. That are going to cost you. When you're talking about quarterbacks in the top ten twenty to thirty five million dollars in guaranteed money they're doing the research on this and they all know this. You know your job over the course of these college football seasons you're not just evaluating these players you're thinking about where they'll be drafted if to ahead gun her at that point in the season where do you think he would have gone. I think he would be the first overall pick. I think if two was healthy Cincinnati would be taking to a number one overall. I really do if he didn't suffer that injury. We would be having a great debate between two a ton of Iowa and Joe Borough but ultimately my guess is that too would probably be the decision at Number One and knowing Cincinnati. They'd probably they do something to maybe move out of that spot. Make a mistake and let Miami or the chargers Carolina come up and get that pick. If I'm being honest he's he's better than Joe Borough and I love Jober but if you tell me these two guys are going to have ten year careers with no injuries. I'm taking two but then I've got a measure. R Joe Borough has been durable. Jost has shown the ability to kind of fight through pain a little bit more and to stay healthy and so. That's really the deciding factor. In my opinion I have to ask you know. Why do you think he's better than borough? I mean rose coming off of arguably the greatest season we've ever seen by college quarterback. What is it about two as game that you prefer? If I knew he was going to be healthy I think he just kind of fits a little bit better in terms of what what the NFL is today. Terms of getting the ball out quickly and being decisive and then also when you take shots down the field. But I I love Joe Borough to if I WAS CINCINNATI. I would take her over to because of the durability issues. Borough is worth the the first overall pick and I think Cincinnati would be making mistake if they didn't take jober tied. You have to take proof your analysis because you're gonNA get clipped saying to us better than Joe Borough and that's GonNa Follow you forever. You've been spending too much time around.

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