Few question Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa‘s talent. That’s been apparent since he came off the bench to lead his team to a comeback win in the national title game. However, the dislocated hip Tagovailoa suffered last fall has thrown a major wrench into his draft stock. It’s a severe injury, and even if Tagovailoa seems like he’s recovered, it could crop up again later like it did for former Ravens TE Dennis Pitta.
“I think what hurts him a little bit is my case, and I feel bad about that,” Pitta said in an interview with NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. “But a lot of people are talking about Tua and saying he can’t be the same player that he was because of this hip injury.”
Pitta fractured and dislocated his hip in training camp in 2013, similar to the injury Tagovailoa suffered. While Pitta was able to return that season and even signed a new deal with Baltimore, he played just seven games over the next three seasons and dislocated that hip two more times. He said he’s talked to Tagovailoa’s father and so far the signs are good — the quarterback hasn’t suffered the loss of any blood flow to his bone.
“I think because of the first hip injury and because potentially there not being enough blood to that bone, it was weaker than it normally would have been,” Pitta said. “Now if in fact he doesn’t have disruption of blood flow to that bone, I don’t think he’s going to have issues, to be completely honest. I never felt like my hip was unstable after my first one. But because the femoral head fractured, now you only have half of a femur in there and it can easily slip in and out of the socket. And so that’s what happened on my last two. I continued to play [thinking] the blood flow looked good, the bone should have been as strong or stronger than it ever was, but that just wasn’t the case for whatever reason. Everything that doctors were kind of telling me was, ‘It looks good, blood flow looks good, bone’s healed, should be strong,’ and that obviously didn’t happen. It wasn’t the case in my last two.”
- Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports that the 58 prospects involved in the virtual draft process have been sent cameras and high-quality lights to capture their draft moment. They will also have some type of virtual interaction with commissioner Roger Goodell.
- Fowler also mentions that all 32 teams will hold a virtual mock draft where they will select past players.
- Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline says it’s looking more and more like Florida CB C.J. Henderson will end up as a top-12 pick in the draft.
- Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller is now hearing Georgia OT Andrew Thomas could now be the first offensive tackle off the board.
- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that generally NFL teams are expected to handle this draft more conservatively and that could mean fewer trades.
- If a team is going to draft a punter or kicker this year, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora highlights Texas A&M P Braden Mann as a name to watch.
- La Canfora expects there to be at least six offensive tackles taken in the first round, with Boise State OT Ezra Cleveland someone who could sneak in as well.
- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions that Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence is on track to graduate in December, which is worth watching both for his chances of declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft and if the college football season is delayed to next spring.