How NFL medical staffs assess the health of Tua Tagovailoa will go a long way toward determining where the Alabama quarterback lands in the 2020 NFL Draft. To that end, Tagovailoa's agent, Leigh Steinberg, said this week that the star signal-caller plans to work out for teams in April. That session would include a throwing session for scouts that would include between 60 and 80 passes.
"The [intention] there is the ball never touches the ground and I think he's going to blow away teams in the process," Steinberg said, via AL.com.
While Tagovailoa expects to throw in April, he will not partake in those drills during the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The combine kicks off in late February and continues into early March.
Most quarterback prospects hold a throwing session for scouts during the draft process. However, those sessions usually take place at the annual NFL Scouting Combine or some point at a private workout soon thereafter. The delay in Tagovailoa's workout likely relates to the dislocated hip he suffered in his final college game, an injury that requires surgery. Though it appears he will receive clearance to throw in front of scouts prior to the draft, it remains uncertain when he can return to full-contact football activities.
For the Los Angeles Chargers, who hold the No. 6 overall pick in the upcoming draft, a healthy recovery for Tagovailoa could significantly affect their plans. General manager Tom Telesco stated during his season-closing press conference that the team would consider selecting a quarterback early in the draft and letting him develop behind longtime starter Philip Rivers. The Chargers could also let Rivers walk this offseason and put a rookie signal-caller in direct competition with returning backup Tyrod Taylor for the starting job. Even if Telesco and his front office opt not to pursue Tagovailoa, another franchise could, pushing down a player Los Angeles prefers in the process.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH