Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa isn’t expected to suffer a major drop in draft stock should he leave Alabama after this season following a hip injury, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported.
“I am told that Tua could actually throw for teams before the draft just based on his rehab,” Rapoport said on NFL Network on Sunday morning. “And scouts still expect him to go high in the first round.”
Tagovailoa is out for the season after suffering a dislocated hip that also broke the wall of his hip socket, which called to mind the injury that ended the career of Bo Jackson. The star running back suffered from avascular necrosis (AVN) in which a lack of blood flow causes the bone tissue to die.
Sources told Rapoport that there’s a “very, very slim chance of AVN,” with Tagovailoa, who has not announced his plans for next season.
Tagovailoa had been considered a potential No. 1 pick — or at least the first quarterback selected — before the injury.
“He may not be the top-three pick he was slated to be before the injury, but the fall from the ailment is not expected to be catastrophic — pending the results of his medical evaluations,” Rapoport wrote.
He added: “If Tagovailoa does declare for the draft, and his prognosis continues to be positive, it now seems likely he’ll only have slipped a few spots, top evaluators say.”
Tagovailoa passed for 2,840 yards, 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions in nine games this season. In three seasons at Alabama, the 2018 Heisman Trophy runner-up threw for 7,442 yards with 87 touchdown passes and only 11 interceptions in 684 attempts.