NFL Notes: Cam Newton, Draft, Tua Tagovailoa

Cam Newton

Cam Newton still remains unsigned as the inability of teams to perform their own physicals has made the prospect of signing the former MVP too risky. While Newton missed the bulk of 2019 after a Lisfranc injury, it’s his shoulder that’s been surgically repaired twice that is giving teams greater worry, according to former Patriots and Red Sox team doctor Thomas Gill.

“There’s no way I could trust a shoulder exam [from someone else], based on strength, stability, motion, because of what might be important to me,” Gill explained via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “And I know just based on my track record, knowing how I evaluate people, what’s worked well versus someone else maybe saying that’s not as big a deal. … There’s no way I could sign off on a guy like that if I didn’t examine him personally.”’


  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer talked to scouts to try and sort out the top four offensive tackles in this draft class. Louisville OT Mekhi Becton is seen as a freakish left tackle with Jason Peters potential.” Georgia OT Andrew Thomas is seen as solid but unspectacular, while Alabama OT Jedrick Wills is seen as a prototypical right tackle who could potentially swing to the left side. And Iowa OT Tristan Wirfs is seen as a guard by some teams, but also as a good athlete and potentially a better fit for a zone-blocking team. 
  • Breer also says Alabama S Xavier McKinney has drawn comparisons to S Earl Thomas from some evaluators and has risen past LSU S Grant Delpit in the conversation for best safety in the class. 
  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora identifies four under-the-radar prospects who could be first-round picks, including Alabama DE Terrell Lewis, Auburn DL Marlon Davidson, Texas Tech LB Jordyn Brooks and Southern Illinois S Jeremy Chinn.
  • Baylor WR Denzel Mims said that the NFL teams he has talked to the most are the Eagles, Bills, Bears Colts, Jets, Cowboys, Rams, and Titans. (Stephen Simcox)
  • Purdue LB Markus Bailey was medically cleared from his torn ACL at his Combine medical recheck by Cardinals’ Dr. Gary Waslewski. (Ian Rapoport)

Tua Tagovailoa

Everyone feared the worst immediately after the news of Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa‘s dislocated hip last fall. The same injury cut short another rising star in RB Bo Jackson after he developed a condition called AVN caused by the loss of blood flow to his hip. While all the indications since then have been positive as far as Tagovailoa still being able to have an NFL career, former Patriots and Red Sox team doctor Thomas Gill said Tagovailoa still carries a significant amount of risk. His hip will need to be monitored for a long time to ensure it’s holding up okay. 

“He would be a guy, as a team physician, that I would absolutely wanna examine myself,” Gill said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “That’s definitely a guy you want to see progress, because those surgeries, especially a hip surgery, the problems, if they’re gonna come up, they come up six months, nine months, two years down the line. … And so I think if you’re gonna invest that much in him, you’d sure like to have as late a data point as possible. And I’m sure that’s a guy that even if you had an MRI in February, if you were able to see him again in April, you’d want an MRI if you’re talking about that kind of investment.”

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