What Tua Tagovailoa's Injury Means for Jake Fromm's NFL Draft Stock
The Elephant in the Room
With the dust seemingly settled from Tua Tagovailoa's hip injury, it's up in the air as to whether or not he'll be walking across a Vegas stage in late April 2020 to greet a smiling Roger Goodell.
So, what does that do to Jake Fromm's draft stock?
Jake Fromm is a virtual lock to not only declare for the 2020 NFL Draft, but to be one of the first QB's selected. Georgia fans ought to start saying their goodbyes, making their peace with the legend that was @JakefromStateFromm
Auto-insurance and audible extraordinaire.
If there's one connection there, it's that in a typical insurance-like manner, Jake Fromm didn't lessen his draft stock over the course of this season. Not a loud year, not a quiet year, but enough of a presence to be the conductor of a powerhouse football train that is UGA. There are those that like to downplay an athlete's ability or effectiveness by pointing to "all the talent surrounding him."
But that's a paradoxical argument. And I don't buy it.
The Case for Fromm's Departure
Jake Fromm was in attendance at the 2019 NFL combine, along with his teammate Andrew Thomas. Tua was there too, along with Travis Ettienne and Jonathon Taylor.
Why? I've been saying all along there's something they're not telling us...
Actually though, Adam Rittenburg of ESPN broke a story last year highlighting the NCAA's Elite Football Symposium.
Launched in 2017, (it) provides high-profile college players information they need for the NFL transition, while shielding them from the combine spotlight. Held at NCAA headquarters, located several hundred yards from the hub of combine activity, the event puts players through three days of meetings about agents, money management, NFL contracts, scouting, social media and branding, and other topics. - Rittenburg
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't take my parents to a senior home until I actually wanted them to live in one. But like Jake Fromm, your day is coming, mother.
Fromm's maturity along with his effectiveness as a decision-maker combine for a juicy QB prospect that many of today's GM's would find worthy of throwing an early-round pick at.
From the outside looking in, the timeline of Tua Tagovailoa's injury paints a picture that leads most to the conclusion that Fromm will be off the board by the end of the 2nd round.
There has been on average three QB's taken in the first round since 2010. With Herbert and Burrow virtual locks to go off the board first, Fromm's resume and body of work beg consideration for QB3 in the 2020 NFL draft.
Bulldog Maven spoke with an NFL scout who bundled Fromm into the 2nd-tier of QB's available in next year's draft, with the likes of Jalen Hurts, and Jacob Eason. Both of whom have lost starting jobs at the D1 level, one to Fromm himself.
"I think he should definitely come out this year because his stock is as best as it's going to get. Also, next year he'll be fighting an uphill battle with Lawrence and Fields leading the 2021 crop." - NFL Scout
The South Carolina Hiccup
Fromm finished this game 28-51 for about 300 yards, with a TD to go along with his 3 picks.
One of the interceptions was the result of immediate interior pressure, but I guess you could always take a sack. One was due to a dropped pass right off the hands of his receiver.
On this play, (8:45) #5 Matt Landers didn't seem to realize the down and distance. 3rd and 3, and he ran a 7/8 yard curl, whereas if he ran a 4-yard curl, Fromm's ball was in the perfect spot for a 1st down.
These three picks make up the totality of Fromm's interceptions in his 2019 campaign. Granted, he's no Anthony Gordon, who's averaging a smooth 430 yards and 50 attempts per contest. But when Deandre Swift is tote'n that thang behind Andrew Thomas and Co., why raid the air when you can pillage the ground?
The Case for Fromm's Return in 2020
Fromm held himself largely responsible for the double-overtime loss against South Carolina on October 12th. And due to that loss, Georgia's case for a playoff birth is reliant on what is sure to be an absolute bloodbath of an SEC championship.
Some may remember Fromm's introduction to the national scene, long before arriving in Athens, he was featured on QB1: Beyond the Lights, a documentary series that gives the nation a glimpse into the life of prolific high school quarterbacks during their senior season of high school football.
Fromm's Houston County team was coming off two straight semifinal losses in the GHSA state playoffs his sophomore and junior seasons.
During an episode, Fromm is sent to a doctor's office following an August practice in South Georgia. For the third straight season, Jake struggled with full-body cramps due to overworking himself and lack of hydration. As Fromm is seen receiving a Sodium IV drip to re-hydrate at the end episode, they close with Jake giving a quote that reveals his true character and provides the strongest argument for him staying another year in Athens.
"My senior season really means a lot to me. We lost in the third round the last two seasons. You get to watch some of your best friends cry on bus rides home 'cause we lost in the third round, again. Quite honestly, I'm tired of it. So, I'm trying to do all I can do to win a state championship. To make that dream come true."
Fromm's had a similar path his first two seasons as a Georgia Bulldog. Ample success in the regular season followed by heartbreaking losses in the postseason.
If he does come back, it won't be because his stats or arm strength didn't warrant a top pick. It'll be because Jake Fromm always places his teammates before himself.