Alabama Football News

Does the latest injury to Tua Tagovailoa affect his draft stock?

Butch Dill - USA TODAY Sports

Fans were in fear as they watched Tua Tagovailoa leave the field and head toward the locker room over the weekend versus Tennessee.

The exciting, new LED lighting feature soon meant nothing to Alabama fans as the junior quarterback went to have his ankle examined. 

He left prior to halftime and per the many videos posted on Twitter of him getting into an ambulance vehicle, people started assuming the worst.

In the aftermath of all the madness, Tagovailoa sustained a twisted ankle and chose to have tightrope surgery performed on it.

RELATED: Alabama 2020 NFL Draft projections

The process requires a two to three-week recovery time and while Nick Saban expects him to miss one week at the least, the Heisman candidate told teammates that he will be back for the LSU matchup on Nov. 9 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

So, the question for some is does this hurt Tagovailoa’s chances of being the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft? 

National media and various draft analysts will look at durability as Tagovailoa’s biggest issue; however, not playing against an Arkansas team (that isn’t very good) does not harm his stock. 

Nineteen pro teams could use a quarterback and six of them – Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Miami, Tennessee, New Orleans and Minnesota – have the position as a “primary” need.  

Tagovailoa is a gifted passer and one who has two interceptions versus 27 touchdown passes through seven games. He runs an NFL style offense with Steve Sarkisian calling plays and prior to the injury over the weekend, he was leading one of the most dynamic offenses in college football.  

At the end of the day, an NFL team is going to want Tagovailoa in the first round. 

While teams like the Dolphins, Bengals and Redskins are not hiding the fact they are tanking, there are others that may try to package together some picks and trade up to get the 2018 Heisman runner-up.

After seeing the Chicago Bears settle on Mitchell Trubisky and watching five quarterbacks get picked in the first round of the 2018 draft, Tagovailoa’s stock is fine. 

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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