Tua Tagovailoa will enter the 2020 NFL Draft coming off a brutal hip injury that derailed his final season at Alabama.
Tagovailoa’s road to recovery has been fairly well-documented, but Rex Ryan believes there still are major red flags when it comes to the quarterback’s health.
Ryan on Friday was asked how willing he’d be to spend a high draft pick on Tagovailoa considering the 22-year-old’s injury history. The former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach proceeded to unveil some inside information about Tagovailoa while explaining why he’s wary of drafting the Crimson Tide product in the first round.
“I look at it this way: I think this is the biggest gamble in the history of the NFL draft,” Ryan said on ESPN’s “Get Up.” “The reason I say that is your doctors can’t get their hands on him, all that kind of stuff. One thing we know, this young man is absolutely an amazing quarterback. He’s got everything. All the intangibles, that lead leadership. When it’s the brightest he plays great. So, to me, I just think the guy’s an amazing prospect.
“However, if you’re just going to ignore the injuries — I don’t care how he’s working out right now. One thing I know about him, he’s been hurt in college. Everybody knows about the three operations he’s had. Really? Well, I’ve heard he’s had five operations. Now, look. I know a lot of people in the NFL and I’m getting that information from them. So if he’s had five surgeries, that’s a major concern. Do you pass on him? Boy, I’ll tell you what. If I only have one first-round pick, I think it’s too risky. I think if I have multiple picks, like the Dolphins do, they can probably take that gamble and I think they will.”
"I think this is the biggest gamble in the history of the NFL Draft. … Everybody knows about the three operations he's had. Really? Well I've heard he's had five operations."
—Rex Ryan on Tua Tagovailoa pic.twitter.com/1tAzDrwdJZ
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) April 3, 2020
With three first-round picks in their arsenal for later this month, including two over the first 18 selections, the Dolphins do have more draft security than other teams around the league. But if recent remarks from NFL insider Adam Schefter are any indication, Miami might not be all that high on Tagovailoa.
And as fellow top QB prospects like Justin Herbert and Jordan Love continue to grow their respective stocks, there’s a chance we could end up seeing Tagovailoa sliding down the board.