Tua Tagovailoa’s draft stock has two critical dates ahead

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is hoping for medical clearance 10 days from now. Once that happens, let the real conversation begin.

INDIANAPOLIS — The quarterbacks are finished with their whirlwind tour at the NFL Scouting Combine.

For all but one of them, the most scrutinized week of their draft journey is over. For Tua Tagovailoa, it’s still ahead.

Tagovailoa, who has been recovering from a dislocated and fractured hip since November, expects to be medically cleared by his doctors on March 9. If that’s the case, he’ll have exactly one month before hosting his own pro day, two weeks before Roger Goodell puts the Cincinnati Bengals on the clock.

“Up to this point I’ve been rehabbing my butt off,” Tagovailoa said. “After March 9th, when I get clearance from my doctors it’s full-go up until my pro day.”

So far, the news on his recovery has been positive for Tagovailoa. Still, every interested team is going to be closely watching every throw during his workout, looking to see if he has the same velocity, the same footwork and the same motion.

Sans the injuries, Tagovailoa is a phenomenal prospect in every way. On the field, the Crimson Tide star shredded SEC defenses over his 32-game career, totaling 7,442 yards and 87 touchdowns against 11 interceptions on 10.9 yards per attempt. There’s nary an off-field red flag, and the young man’s character appears impeccable.

If not for his injury history at Alabama, he’d be in strong competition for the No. 1 overall pick alongside Joe Burrow.

The best news? Things are healing quite well, to the point Tagovailoa told media on Tuesday he expects to be able to compete in OTAs for whichever team drafts him.

For the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers and any other team considering Tagovailoa, the medicals in Indianapolis are a positive step.

The next ones will be the biggest, though, all coming in the next six weeks.