Tua Tagovailoa, the Alabama quarterback recovering from a severe hip injury ahead of the 2020 NFL draft, says he’s now 100% healthy.
He also believes he could perform like the dynamic player he was in college.
“I’d say I’m 100 percent right now,” Tagovailoa said on ESPN’s SportsCenter this afternoon. “I’d say I’m ready to play.”
Tagovailoa’s hip recovery remains the biggest storyline ahead of the draft, scheduled for April 23-25, where the Miami Dolphins own the No. 5 pick among 14 total selections.
The Dolphins tried to arrange a pre-draft visit with Tagovailoa to assess his health and follow up on their meeting at the NFL combine in February before the NFL suspended such activities due to mounting coronavirus concerns. But both sides were unable to meet.
Tagovailoa remains upbeat and positive regarding his health, and said he has experienced “little to none” regarding soreness after his workouts.
“I’ve been really excited to actually be able to go out and throw the football and spin it around,” Tagovailoa said. “It’s been a long process, four months waiting, going through all the physicals and the rehab. Just to be able to go out there and spin it, it’s been good.
“Just going throughout this process, just being able to run, throw, I haven’t felt sore or things like that,” he added.
Along with working out, Tagovailoa has also spent some time on video conference calls with teams around the NFL.
Tagovailoa was coy when asked which teams he has spoken with.
“As much as I’d like to say, I kinda want to hide my cards, too. I just want to be discreet with all that, but it’s been pretty much a daily thing with these teams and virtual meetings, but they’ve been good all at the same time,” Tagovailoa said.
“You just never know what’s going to happen. It’s awesome that I have this opportunity in front of me being able to talk to all of these teams and having the teams being interested in me. But you just don’t know how it’s all going to turn out.”
Several NFL pundits believe Tagovailoa could be available for Miami with the fifth pick.
Many others believe the Dolphins may need to construct a trade with the Washington Redskins, who own the second pick, or the Detroit Lions, who own the third pick, to acquire Tagovailoa.
The Los Angeles Chargers at No. 6, the Carolina Panthers at No. 7 and the Las Vegas Raiders at No. 12 could also show interest in making a move for Tagovailoa.
Still, Tagovailoa’s overall health and durability to withstand a full NFL season for several years remains the biggest issues for teams considering him in the draft.
“I feel as normal as can be,” Tagovialoa said. “I feel like if I had to go out there to perform, same way I did my sophomore year and my junior year being 100 percent healthy, I feel like I can go out there and do that.”