One of the most intriguing questions heading into the 2020 NFL Draft on April 23 is where quarterback Tua Tagovailova will end up?
2020 NFL Draft Tips & Predictions: Who Is Tua Tagovailoa?
Tagovailova exploded onto the College Football scene during the National Championship Game in January 2018, replacing a benched Jalen Hurts at halftime and leading Alabama to a 26-23 come-from-behind win over Clemson, earning him Offensive MVP honours in the process, and he claimed more personal accolades in his first year as a starter as he led the Crimson Tide to another National Championship appearance, albeit a losing one.
He was bit by the injury bug in 2019 though, suffering a high ankle sprain, and although he did not end his season prematurely, a questionable decision by head coach Nick Saban did. Saban left the 22-year-old on the field despite Alabama boasting a commanding 35-7 lead over Mississippi State, and it was a decision that backfired when he suffered a serious hip injury while being sacked. Tagovailova has to be carted off the field and did not play again that season, and it was no surprise in January of this year when he revealed he would forego his final year at college in order to begin his professional career in the NFL.
2020 NFL Drafts Tips & Predictions: Miami Dolphins Favourites To Draft Tua Tagovailoa
The ears of those teams high up in the draft pricked their ears up following the announcement, and prior to the viral pandemic that has shut down sport across the United States it was believed to be Miami who were leading the race for his signature. The Dolphins had reportedly tried to organise a visit with the young QB and although that had to be shelved, the bookmakers do expect the Florida franchise to still press ahead with making him their first round draft pick. Unibet is Even-money that Tagovailova is taken by the Miami Dolphins in the 2020 NFL Draft.
2020 NFL Draft Tips & Predictions: Could A Rival Beat Miami To Tua Tagovailoa?
Backing Tagovailoa to be drafted by Miami seems like a safe bet, but there are currently four teams ahead of them in the draft so it is not a foregone conclusion by any stretch of the imagination.
Washington have a new head coach at the reins in Ron Rivera and as we saw last year, when Arizona went all-in for Kyler Murray despite drafting Josh Rosen 12 months earlier, it would not be a gigantic surprise to see Rivera make a play for Tagovailova and offload last season’s first-round pick, Dwayne Haskins, as a result. However, the chances of that happening were muddied when it was revealed that the Redskins had made a trade for Carolina QB Kyle Allen, so unless the team is willing to give up on Haskins already the chances of Tagovailoa landing in DC are slimmer than they were during the first few weeks of March.
The Detroit Lions have pick number three and could decide to make a move for Tagovailova as they prepare for life after Matthew Stafford, but at 25/1 the bookmakers are not sold on that possibility, and the fact that the New York Giants are not even priced up shows they are happy – for now – with last year’s first round pick Daniel Jones.
One interesting option is the team that currently owns the number one overall pick in the draft, Cincinnati. The Bengals would be mad to pass up on LSU’s record-setting standout Joe Burrow by choice, but there has been plenty of murmurings around whether or not the young QB wants to play for Cincinnati and if those reports are true then perhaps the Bengals could take full advantage of his stock to trade down, still pick up a quality quarterback, Tagovailova, and maybe land a couple more picks in the process. That would help with a rebuild.
However, it looks increasingly like the one team most likely to beat Miami to Tagovailoa are the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers will have to trade up to beat the Dolphins to the young QB, but they must have some plan in mind having moved on from long-time quarterback Philip Rivers in the offseason. LA need to do something big because they are living firmly in the shadow of the Rams right now, so a headline-grabbing draft could help garner them some attention. The question is, who can the Chargers strike a deal with to move up the board? Almost every Mock Draft across the board suggests Washington, New York and Detroit could all trade down and still get the man they want, and the Redskins in particular will know that their pick has the most value of all as they look to rebuild. Trading down a few spots and landing more picks in the process could definitely be tempting for them.
2020 NFL Draft Tips & Predictions: Who Will Draft Tua Tagovailoa?
Like I said before, Miami appear very keen to bring in the Alabama Crimson Tide standout during the 2020 NFL Draft and therefore it is no surprise to see them being made odds-on favourites to pick him up. However, the Chargers do have plenty of options if they do want to steal a march on the Dolphins, so my ‘Bold Prediction is to back them to land Tagovailoa. It would be a huge move for Los Angeles, ushering in a new era for the franchise that is fighting just to stay relevant in its own city right now. And given that Los Angeles would have to move up to land their man, I am tempted by the 8/5 on Tagovailova being the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.