NFL Draft: Despite some claims Tua Tagovailoa is in strong position

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The NFL Draft chatter about Tua Tagovailoa will continue unabated until Draft Day. What, if anything, do the latest rumors mean about teams vying for Tua?

With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, Tua Tagovailoa has received great reviews on his physical condition. Tua recently claimed he could play now if there was any football to play. What matters more is what NFL teams are thinking.

Ultimately, it only matters what one team thinks. Figuring out which one is not easy. Will the Dolphins get Tua with the fifth pick? If the Dolphins opt for Justin Herbert, do the Chargers claim Tua with the sixth pick? Will another team make a trade to the third pick to insure drafting Tua? Are the Redskins really set on Dwayne Haskins or do they instead choose Tua with the second pick? If Tua slips below the sixth pick, will the Patriots come into play with a surprise move up the Draft board?

The above paragraph could have easily asked more questions. The Jaguars and the Colts could come into play for Tua, under the right circumstances. Because of Tua’s injury, it is an uncertain Draft.

Mike Miller, writing for Bleacher Report and also in a recent podcast talked NFL rumors and every team. Miller is not the first to suggest some teams are not sold on Tua. Why, after so much recent, good news about Tua’s full recovery, would teams shy away?

There are several reasons, not the least of which is NFL General Managers being vulnerable to a herd mentality. There is so much money for the top few NFL selections, no GM wants to miss. More than the money is the roster damage done when a high, first-rounder does not deliver. In most cases, another team need goes unfilled. In terms of job security, making a mistake passing on a player is not as damaging as a failed, top pick.

There are other reasons. NFL teams have reason to worry Tua, no matter how well recovered now, will not stay healthy. Pre-Draft projections vary based on what Draft experts are hearing from teams. But there have to be stories explaining why players are slipping on team Draft boards. The latest story is Tua not doing well during Combine interviews. Those of us who have closely followed Tua’s career see no merit in such claims.

Much more probable, in fact, likely, is teams are laying down smoke screens. It happens in every Draft cycle. Teams want other teams to believe something other than their actual intentions. Players, closely scrutinized for years, are suddenly found lacking some essential ingredient for NFL success.

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The NFL Draft is more than two weeks away. There will be many more rumors. Somewhere in the First Round, a team will select Tua. That team will be very fortunate.