Report: ‘Overwhelming expectation’ this team will draft Tua Tagovailoa if available

By Matt Johnson
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NFL Draft is fast approaching and former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remains the biggest wild card in the first round. While there are growing concerns about his durability, even after video of his impressive Pro Day was sent out, many around the league expect Tagovailoa to land with one specific team.

According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, there is an overwhelming expectation around the NFL that the Los Angeles Chargers will select Tagovailoa with the No. 6 overall pick if he is available. Los Angeles is in the market for its future face of the franchise after allowing Philip Rivers to leave, creating an opening that Tagovailoa would slide into perfectly.

While the 22-year-old quarterback looked healthy during his workout, multiple NFL teams failed him medically and view him as too much of a risk to draft early. Even with more certainty that he is fully recovered from his dislocated hip, organizations have concerns about his long-term durability. He also has suffered a broken index finger, sprained right knee, a high ankle sprain on both sides during his collegiate career.

However, the Chargers seem determined to add a potential franchise quarterback this season. While Tagovailoa comes with medical red flags, he’s also one of the most talented players in the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s received comparisons to Drew Breesfor his exceptional accuracy and was even compared to Patrick Mahomes for his ability to throw on the run.

This could be an even better fit given the Chargers don’t need Tagovailoa to start right away. The team intends for Tyrod Taylor to start next season and he could be a serviceable bridge starter for the season.

The Miami Dolphins likely represent the greatest threat to draft Tagovailoa ahead of the Chargers. However, there are reports that the Dolphins prefer Justin Herbert. If the Dolphins opt to take Herbert with the No. 5 selection, that would likely allow the Chargers to avoid needing to trade up with Tagovailoa falling right into their lap.

Tagovailoa will remain the most discussed prospect leading up to the NFL Draft with teams and his agent leaking information to try and swing his draft stock. While there are concerning durability issues that carry immense risk, it seems likely that he’ll avoid a draft-day slide and wind up a top-12 pick on April 23.