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#pounditSaturday, May 8, 2021

Tua Tagovailoa

Nick Saban shares what Tua Tagovailoa needs to improve

Nick Saban

Nick Saban coached Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama for three seasons and is preparing to see his former quarterback move on to the NFL. Saban believes in Tagovailoa but thinks Tua has some areas he needs to improve.

Appearing on ESPN’s College GameDay with Rece Davis Thursday, Saban talked about Tua’s prospects in the NFL. He said Tagovailoa will do well and teams should overlook the medical issues that have supposedly scared some front offices. But he did make a suggestion.

“Look, I think Tua needs to learn a little bit about self-preservation,” Saban said. “I think most of his injuries [at Alabama] occurred after he got rid of the ball. He didn’t have to take the hit that he took. And I think that he is a great competitor and he’s always trying to make a play, so you don’t want to take that competitive spirit away, but I do think there is a time when he needs to get rid of the ball so he doesn’t get hit. But everything else he can do as a quarterback.”

Saban then said he hoped teams wouldn’t make the same mistake he made in Miami where they passed on Drew Brees because of medical concerns about the quarterback’s shoulder. Brees signed with New Orleans and began a Hall of Fame career with them, while Saban’s stint in Miami didn’t go well and he went back to Alabama. Interestingly, an ESPN analyst made the same situational comparison with Tagovailoa that Saban did.

Tua Tagovailoa gets another glowing health report leading up to draft

Tua Tagovailoa

There are a lot of concerns about Tua Tagovailoa’s health heading into Thursday night’s NFL Draft, but teams apparently do not need to worry about the former Alabama star’s surgically repaired hip.

All indications are that Tagovailoa’s rehab from the hip injury he suffered back in November has gone swimmingly. Just hours before the draft began on Thursday, there was another overwhelmingly positive report about Tagovailoa’s health. This one came from ESPN’s Stephania Bell, who spoke with the hip specialist who served as an independent evaluator for Tua’s recheck. According to that doctor, Tagovailoa’s X-rays were “pristine” and he looks as good as any patient can look five months after undergoing that particular hip procedure.

Of course, Tagovailoa being healthy at the moment does not address every concern teams have. The risk with drafting him is more about whether or not he will suffer a significant injury in the future.

The Miami Dolphins are the team that has been most frequently linked to Tagovailoa, and we still think they intend to draft him. There have been varying reports about what the Dolphins plan to do with the fifth overall pick, but it would be a surprise if they don’t end up with Tua.

Mel Kiper explains why he now thinks Dolphins will draft Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa

The Miami Dolphins have been generating the majority of the headlines leading into the NFL Draft on Thursday night, any many believe they are intentionally leaking information to fool teams into thinking they are not going to draft Tua Tagovailoa. ESPN’s Mel Kiper is now on board with that theory.

In his final first-round mock draft before the real event, Kiper predicted that the Dolphins will select Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick. His previous mock draft had former Oregon star Justin Herbert going to Miami at No. 5 and the Los Angeles Chargers taking Tagovailoa with the next pick, but Kiper has since changed his mind. He explained his rationale during an appearance on “Get Up!” Thursday morning, noting that he thinks the way the Dolphins missed out on Drew Brees years ago could push them toward Tagovailoa.

Tagovailoa has drawn comparisons to Brees. Former Dallas Cowboys executive and Pro Football Hall of Famer Gil Brandt called Tagovailoa a “left-handed Drew Brees” and praised the former Alabama star for his accuracy. When Brees was a free agent in 2006, the Dolphins were on the verge of signing him before a doctor raised concerns about his surgically repaired throwing shoulder. Miami traded for Daunte Culpepper instead, Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints and the rest is history.

Kiper and others believe the Dolphins will keep the Brees situation in mind when making a decision about Tagovailoa. If not for Tua’s injury history, he would have had as good of a shot as Joe Burrow to be the top overall pick. Drafting him will carry a risk, but Miami chose not to take a similar risk with Brees 14 years ago and has regretted it since.

One report this week claimed the Dolphins are looking to trade up for a non-QB, but it would be downright shocking if they actually did that. We’ve thought all along that they are enamored with Tagovailoa, and our opinion hasn’t changed.

Report: Dolphins, Lions to trade first-round draft picks

Miami Dolphins logo

The Detroit Lions have been fielding phone calls for the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday’s NFL Draft, and they may have a taker.

The Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero reports that the Lions are planning to pick in the Dolphins’ spot at No. 5, which suggests the teams would be swapping first-round picks.

There has been noise about the Dolphins wanting to move up to No. 3, but it was supposedly for an offensive lineman. That makes little sense.

If Miami wants to move up that high, it’s probably to take a quarterback. We have long believed they want Tua Tagovailoa, and a trade would fit in with that desire. Detroit still might be able to draft Jeff Okudah at No. 5, so a move down by two spots would make sense for them.

Ranking the best quarterback prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft

Joe Burrow

2019 was a big year for quarterbacks in the NFL Draft, and 2020 is similar.

Four quarterbacks may go in the first round of the draft, with a handful of others waiting behind them to potentially go on the second day. Young franchise quarterbacks are the dream for teams who don’t already have one, and this year is not expected to be any different.

Here are rankings of the seven best quarterbacks in the class of 2020.

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5 potential trade-up targets in the NFL Draft

Justin Herbert

The 2020 NFL Draft is nearly upon us, and rumors about potential trades are beginning to heat up.

While very few things about the draft are predictable, it’s easy to guarantee a slew of trades will take place in Round 1 and beyond — many of those coming over the first 10 or so picks. Even in a virtual setting, that’s not likely to change.

With that in mind, here’s a look at five of the top potential trade-up targets.

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5 best offensive players in the NFL Draft

Tua Tagovailoa

Teams are doing their homework for the virtual NFL Draft at the end of April and trying to figure out which players best suit their needs. While this is certainly a strong draft for defensive players, there’s plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball as well. If you’re in need of a wide receiver or offensive lineman, this is a draft rich in talent at both of those positions, but that’s not all.

Here are the five best offensive players in the 2020 NFL Draft.

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