Rumors have begun to swirl that Tua Tagovailoa may bypass the 2020 NFL Draft and instead opt to return to Alabama for his senior season. That would be a monumental mistake by the young quarterback.
Tagovailoa hasn't announced his intentions as far as the draft is concerned, but if his hip injury will heal, there's no reason for him to return to school. During Wednesday's Citrus Bowl, the SEC Network's Greg McElroy claimed he thought Tagovailoa would be returning to school. McElroy, of course, is a former Alabama quarterback.
While Tagovailoa's season-ending hip injury was devastating, reports suggest he'll make a full recovery from it. He suffered a hip dislocation and posterior wall fracture, which sounds terrible. But after undergoing surgery, it is not expected to impact his health long-term.
While Tua won't be able to work out for teams before the 2020 NFL Draft, those front offices have plenty of film to study. He's been the starting quarterback at Alabama for two-plus years and has put together a ton of good tape. There are a number of quarterback-needy teams with high draft picks this year. As long as the medical evaluations come back clean, he'll almost certainly be a top 10 pick in the 2020 draft.
Tagovailoa has played 32 college games over the past three years. In that time he's completed 69.3 percent of his passes for 7,442 yards, with 87 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He's averaged a ridiculous 10.9 yards per attempt and boasts a career passer rating of 199.4. It's worth noting, his accuracy, yards per attempt and touchdown to interception ratio improved every year he started. He's absolutely ready for the next level.
I get that Tua might want to come back to school, prove himself and show that he deserves to be the No. 1 overall pick. But football is an incredibly violent and dangerous game and there's no guarantee he won't suffer another devastating injury next year. He should get paid while he can.