Tua Tagovailoa is the biggest wild card at the top of the 2020 NFL Draft. Had the Alabama quarterback not suffered a dislocation and fracture in his hip in the midst of the Crimson Tide's season last year, we'd probably be discussing whether or not it should be him or LSU phenom Joe Burrow who is worthy of the top overall pick. Now, Tagovailoa could prove to provide some value to a club even if he still lands within the Top 5.
Health, of course, is still a key factor when trying to project his future in the NFL, but he has recently been getting some good news on that front. As it relates to that devastating hip injury, Tagovailoa has been trending upward as the draft draws closer. Steinberg Sports & Entertainment president and COO Chris Cabott told Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports that "Tua is fully cleared and ready to compete without any restrictions."
Not only is the 22-year-old's representation providing positive updates on his health, but Dr. Lyle Cain, an Orthopaedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist at the Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, has also seen tremendous progress.
"I am extremely pleased," Cain said of Tagovailoa's recovery. "If you told me four, almost five, months ago now that he'd be where he is now, I think I would have been very happy. I think he's done extremely well for where he started out."
Tagovailoa recently did show off his clean bill of health in a videothrowing passes and running through footwork drills.
While he is trending in the right direction, it seems unlikely that he'll be pushing for that No. 1 spot. Not only has Burrow solidified himself for that top selection by checking off seemingly every box imaginable with one of the greatest single collegiate seasons college football has every seen, but, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tagovailoa cannot physically meet with teams and cannot perform at a pro day to further bolster his draft stock.
Still, the quarterback is looked at as a concrete Top 5 selection and could possibly come off the board at No. 3 overall if the Detroit Lions sell that selection to the highest bidder who wants climb up and make him the face of their franchise going forward.