2020 NFL Mock Draft: Another Tua Tagovailoa Projection for Los Angeles
Jason B. Hirschhorn
Just over two weeks remain before the fully virtual 2020 NFL Draft kicks off, and the hierarchy of quarterback prospects remains as fluid as at any point this offseason. That makes projecting whom the Los Angeles Chargers will target with their first-round pick especially difficult to ascertain. After months of seeing Oregon's Justin Herbert as the Chargers' de facto selection in mocks, the landscape has shifted to other signal-callers and non-quarterbacks.
In the latest mock draft from Sports Illustrated's Conor Orr, the Chargers still end up with a QB, but not the one many expect.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
A bit of kismet for the Chargers here, who fall into the quarterback with perhaps the biggest NFL upside. The team's optimism surrounding Tyrod Taylor as a bridge starter will parlay nicely into an eventual transition of power to a big-named quarterback in a new stadium where the Chargers are trying to establish a footing. Tagovailoa adds more to the equation than any of the top three passers in this draft and will gel brilliantly with a sharp offensive mind like Anthony Lynn.
When healthy, few question Tua Tagovailoa's abilities. He nearly became the first qualifying player to register a 200 passer rating (college formula) in back-to-back seasons, falling just 0.6 points below the mark in 2018. Tagovailoa carries a number of accolades from consensus All-American honors to the Walter Camp Player of the Year award.
Of course, Tagovailoa saw his final season at Alabama ended prematurely by a severe hip dislocation. While he claimed last week that he feels "100%" again, concerns about his durability persist. Tagovailoa also dealt with ankle issues in previous years. As a result, some teams will move him down their draft boards or take him off entirely.
Still, while the Chargers certainly care about a prospect's medical history, they might feel comfortable enough with his progress back from his hip injury and his college tape to take a swing at him in the first round.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH