Tua Tagovailoa Adds Another Quarterback to the Draft Mix

Noah Strackbein

The NFL Draft just landed another top level quarterback. Alabama quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, will forego his senior season and declare for the 2020 NFL Draft. 

A former Heisman Trophy runner-up, Tagovailoa missed the second-half of the 2019 season after undergoing major hip surgery. After meeting with a medical staff for a check-up last Friday, Tagovailoa made the decision to enter the draft. 

"With lots of prayers, thoughts and guidance I have decided that I will enter the 2020 NFL draft," Tagovailoa said in a press conference on Friday.

Tagovailoa underwent surgery for a dislocated hip on Nov. 16. Despite concerns regarding his return timetable, MMQB's Kalyn Kahler reported that evaluators still consider him a top-four quarterback in the 2020 draft. 

“If he’s on pace to be back for the start of next season, I think he'll be fine,” a scout told Kahler. “And all it takes is one team to take a chance on him... Example: Jaylon Smith.”

Tua's placement in most mock drafts should remain high, but a setback in his rehab could slide him deeper into the first-round. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers' first pick currently sits at No. 50. Still, some believe a slide could push them to move up for the second year in a row. Head coach Mike Tomlin declared Mason Rudolph as the team's backup next season but that doesn't mean he could be looking at add another competitor to the room. 

"I am comfortable with Mason Rudolph," Tomlin said. "I am disappointed that he missed the amount of time he did. Injuries are a part of the game. He had an opportunity to grow and grow in a lot of ways and get a lot of experience. He missed some time due to injuries and performance and so forth. But I am comfortable with Mason Rudolph."

As the NFL Draft creeps closer, it'll become clearer where Tagovailoa sits in the draft projection. Alongside names like Oregon's Justin Herbert, LSU's Joe Borrow, Georgia's Jake Fromm and Washington's Jacob Eason, Tua is another top prospect that can shake up the early part of the draft. 

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