By Austin Payne
Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa is set to make his decision regarding this year’s 2020 NFL draft on January 6th, which happens to be Monday.
It may be surprising to many, including myself, that a formal decision or press conference type of event even needs to be held for this, considering one would have assumed it was a foregone conclusion that he should leave, prior to this season anyway. The reality of the situation is that Tua more than likely already knows what he’s doing, because it’s rather inconceivable to box himself into making a last minute decision just for publicity’s sake.
Tagovailoa is unquestionably one of the drafts most coveted prospects this year, if not in many years, from a talent perspective. He came to Alabama all the way from Hawaii as the number one prospect and quarterback in his class, and though he served as backup throughout his freshman campaign in 2017, he saw plenty of playing time due to the unavoidable tendency of Bama’ to simply run opponents of the field. He showcased his unique talent during those opportunities, and all of this culminated to unseating the year long starter and now college football legend, Jalen Hurts. Coming into the National Title Game against one of the best opponents Alabama has seen and winning the game for them in the second half, Tua simply started writing his own story from this point forward.
Two years, about 7,000 yards, and 76 touchdowns later, he’s now draft eligible. It seems a bit irrational for Tua to even consider returning to the Tide next season, because what is there to gain from this? It’s unknown at the moment whether or not he will be available for the start of the NFL season next year, nonetheless the even earlier college one which is accompanied by classes, lack of income, and various other hindrances.
Having shown all the fans and and scouts all of his athleticism, arm talent, intangibles, and overall skill set, it’s not debatable that Tua has put his money on the table. Despite all of this and despite what we may see as the obvious choice, Tua seems to be a very humble person lacking of any egotistical mindset, and definitely could be someone to make a more conservative decision in order to return and finish his degree.
If TT elects to go into the 2020 draft, it’s unlikely he will last any further than pick number 10. In spite of his injury, all NFL teams are acutely aware of his talent, and there will be many teams in need of a franchise quarterback at the top of the draft who are willing and able to take a chance on this young man. Mel Kiper’s mock draft currently has Tua projected at number three overall to the Miami Dolphins, who certainly are in need at his position.