NFL draft analyst says Tua Tagovailoa has 'no reason to return' to Alabama following hip injury
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has already undergone successful hip surgery after he suffered what coach Nick Saban called “a freak” injury against Mississippi State on Saturday.
Just about the entire college football world wishes Tua Tagovailoa well, but the beat goes on, and that means many analysts were discussing Tagovailoa’s football future and NFL draft stock Monday.
Some speculated that maybe, in light of this season-ending injury, Tagovailoa would be better off heading back to Alabama for one more season. Bleacher Report NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller put the kibosh on that idea.
“As far as the 2020 NFL Draft, where is the mindset? Well, the family has been talking like okay, there’s no reason for him to go back to Alabama at this point, basically,” Miller said Monday. “They did have an insurance policy, I’m told, so if he falls in the draft – and that would be expected that he would – he can recoup some of that money.
“You know with (Dallas Cowboys defensive end) Jaylon Smith, it was if he falls to the second round, he’s going to get a couple million dollars because of these insurance policies. I’m told Tua (Tagovailoa) did have one, so it would not benefit him to go back to Alabama because he would forfeit that insurance money.
“Really, this is set up for him to declare for the draft, to rehab probably at Alabama for the next couple of months, he’s obviously not going to be able to do the combine, he’s not going to be able to do a pro day. But I think the belief is that he could then get drafted, like a Jaylon Smith, rehab with the team, he’s going to be able to collect that insurance money if he falls far enough in the draft. So it’s really, it’s a tough situation, but there were some safeguards in place.”
Without the injury, Tagovailoa has nothing else to prove at the college level. He’s taken the sport by storm since getting his chance in the second half of the National Championship in Jan. 2018. Tagovailoa has only lost two starts — against Clemson in last year’s championship game and versus LSU a couple weeks ago.
Statistically, Tagovailoa was outstanding again this year, posting 2,840 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and only three interceptions. He averaged 11.3 yards per attempt and recorded a 71.4 completion percentage.
For his career, it’s better he moved on and didn’t risk suffering another major injury in college. With the insurance policies in place, it’s apparently better financially for Tagovailoa to leave for the NFL draft as well.