The second half of the college football season took a nasty turn for Alabama star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. After suffering a hip injury on Saturday, Tagovailoa has been ruled out for the remainder of the season.
On today's edition of Sunday NFL Countdown, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. weighed in on Tagovailoa's NFL draft prospects post-injury.
"You look at Tua. He’s not 6-3. He doesn’t have the big-time arm strength and now the durability concern is obviously real and has been for a period of time because of the ankle injuries. So, this kind of complicates matters when you’re competing with two other quarterbacks who are highly rated [Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert] — it puts [Tua] right now third in line instead of No. 1 or No. 2 when you project forward to late April.”
Tua came into the season as the top-ranked quarterback and top-ranked draft prospect on Kiper's board, so this is a pretty big drop for him. He's no longer No. 1 at his position or overall.
To place him at No. 3 is a pretty risky bet, to be honest. Considering the severity and the timing of his injury, as well as the quality of the rest of the quarterback class, there's a chance that Tagovailoa might not declare for next year's draft at all and opt to spend his senior year with Alabama. Only time will tell. But if his injury is bad and his draft stock falls, that is a possibility.