It's set to be one of the more interesting NFL offseasons in recent memory, because it's not often the league sees such a flood of top quarterback talent hit the free agency market at the same time. Whatever unfolds in March will have a direct impact on the 2020 NFL Draft in April, with QB-needy teams like the Miami Dolphins looking to use one or the other to locate their franchise quarterback for this season and potentially beyond.
Speaking of the Dolphins, when it comes to who they're eyeing in the draft, things may have changed a bit recently. Not so long ago, the consensus No. 1-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft was Tua Tagovailoa, to the point there was a viral #TankForTua hashtag dominating the NFL landscape. But life got turned upside-down for the star Alabama quarterback when he suffered a devastating hip injury in November that ended his season and required surgery to repair.
Now almost fully healthy, Tagovailoa is reminding NFL teams like the Dolphins that he's not to be overlooked or underestimated.
While the injury in 2019 opened the door for Joe Burrow to take over the top spot at the position in the prospect pool, a healthy Tagovailoa is still projected as a possible top-5 pick. That is, unless a player like Justin Herbert sneaks in and steals the Dolphins' attention, and it appears that's what's beginning to happen.There are now rumors the Dolphins -- who own three picks in the first round, including the fifth-overall selection -- are no longer all-in on taking Tagovailoa with their first pick.
It may still happen, but they reportedly now also have eyes for Herbert, per The Miami Herald, and that could make things interesting as the draft approaches.
Tagovailoa has the better collegiate resume by leaps and bounds over Herbert, but the latter impressed at the Reese's Senior Bowl and is currently enjoying an upswing in his stock as he approaches the 2020 NFL combine in Indianapolis. If he performs well at Lucas Oil Stadium, Herbert will see his stock climb that much higher. And while Tagovailoa will be in attendance at the combine to interview with teams and hopefully ace his medical exam, it's to-be-determined what drills he'll participate in, already having an eye on doing more in pre-draft workouts at Alabama's Pro Day, or a separate Pro Day to prove he'll be fine to take the field for an NFL team in 2020.
The Dolphins still have a strong interest in Tagovailoa and will continue to, but the 2018 Heisman runner-up is not yet a lock to play in South Florida. That said, while Herbert is looking to rock the boat, that won't be easy if Tagovailoa proves he hasn't lost a step.