In a televised press conference with University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa announced on Monday morning that he would forgo his senior season of eligibility to enter the 2020 NFL Draft.

Once considered the surefire first overall draft pick (some fans of the Miami Dolphins and other QB-needy teams were embracing a “Tank for Tua,“) Tagovailoa’s season was cut short after nine games. He suffered a dislocated hip and posterior wall fracture against Mississippi State, ending his season and putting his 2020 playing availability in jeopardy.

Tagovailoa could be months away from full health, but he’ll still be a first round pick by virtue of his talent. The general consensus is that he’s the second-best quarterback prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft, behind Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow. This slots him ahead of Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Washington’s Jacob Eason, although there’s technically no guarantee he’s the second quarterback selected. A team could value Herbert or Eason’s immediate availability and health in the first round.

Still, Tagovailoa is a top prospect, so even with injury concerns, don’t expect him to slide too far.

The Miami Dolphins seemed to play themselves out of the “Tank for Tua” sweepstakes, somehow ending the season with five wins. But with the 5th pick in this year’s draft, Tagovailoa could very well still be on the board for Miami.

Other teams that could use a potential upgrade at quarterback include the Los Angeles Chargers at #6 (Philip Rivers future is uncertain, unless Tom Brady is coming in?), Jacksonville Jaguars at #9, Cleveland Browns at #10 (is Baker Mayfield done already?), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at #14.

The Cincinnati Bengals are very likely to select a quarterback with the first overall pick, but I see no reason why that would be Tagovailoa over Joe Burrow.

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Photo Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

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