The Miami Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa have been linked to one another for quite some time now. Ahead of the 2019 NFL season, most thought that the Dolphins would have a legitimate shot at the No. 1 overall pick and would take the Alabama quarterback first overall. Well, after winning five games and not embracing the tank, things on the Tua front got a little bit hazier.
Thanks to Joe Burrow putting together one of the greatest college football seasons, however, the Bengals are set to take him with the first-overall pick which means that Tagovailoa should be available for the Dolphins to take with the No. 5 pick.
It may not be that simple, though.
According to The Miami Herald, the Dolphins are a bit concerned with Tagovailoa’s health and the fact that he’s battled a number of serious injuries already up to this point in his career. On top of that, Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is a player that Miami is growing more and more fond of.
One source said the Dolphins are not just concerned about Tagovailoa’s return to full health from the fractured and dislocated hip he suffered last November, but also about his durability in the long-term beyond the current injury.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, obviously aware of the thinking among his personnel men, hinted before the Super Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium that the club was not fully sold on Tagovailoa.
“I’ve been down there to see him. Tua is a great player. I just worry about his health,” Ross said.
He also added: “The coaches really make the decisions on the draft choices. We have to look at what his health is and everything else and see what the alternatives are.”
Herbert is the most obvious alternative and another source said that in meetings among Dolphins personnel people, he has advocates. The Dolphins generally love Herbert’s size (6-foot-6 and 237 pounds), his arm talent, and his mobility, which he displayed in the 2020 Rose Bowl when he ran for three touchdowns.
Things will continue to develop, and likely change, as we get closer to the NFL combine on Feb. 25th, but this report is certainly intriguing. Tagovailoa’s injury history should be a concern for any team looking to select him, but at the end of the day, he had a much more impressive college career than Herbert.