ESPN analyst doesn't think Tua Tagovailoa gets enough credit for toughness shown during Alabama career
Tua Tagovailoa’s draft stock, at least in terms of the information that has leaked out through the media, has been a bit of a roller coaster this offseason.
After receiving a positive medical evaluation at the 2020 NFL Combine, Tagovailoa appeared to be rising up the draft boards but as we get closer to the draft, the former Crimson Tide quarterback now appears to be fading down draft boards.
Whether it’s analysts list Mel Kiper or Daniel Jeremiah, reporters like Matt Miller or former NFL GM’s like Michael Lombardi — who recently stated that Tua has failed physicals from two NFL teams, wherever you turn for your 2020 NFL Draft content, the word on the street is that Tagovailoa’s stock is trending in the wrong direction at the moment.
Much of that may have to do with the fact NFL teams don’t have the option of evaluating Tagovailoa due to the current NFL restrictions on visiting with prospects but one analyst currently sticking up for the former Alabama quarterback is ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky.
During a recent appearance on ESPN morning show “Get Up,” Orlovsky shared his opinion that Tua’s toughness and ability to play through pain isn’t being discussed enough at the moment.
“We are not giving Tua enough credit for his toughness. And if you remember the movie The Program, right? We learned there’s a difference between playing hurt and playing injured,” Orlovsky said on the show. “You can’t play injured, it’s going to make the situation worse, but can you play hurt? Playing hurt is about a physical toughness and a mental toughness and a grit that’s inside you.
“We watched Tua play hurt in that SEC title game [against Georgia] and then we watched him come back and play in the national title game against Clemson hurt. We’ve watched him play against LSU hurt, where he threw for 420 yards and four touchdowns against a really good defense. Durability matters, of course, but so does toughness and so does grit. The good thing with Tua is, he has displayed that.”
At the end of the day, no matter how tough a player may be, NFL teams are going to prioritize players that can stay on the field and Tagovailoa is going to have to prove his doubters at the next level wrong in the years to come.