The start of the NFL Draft is exactly two weeks away, and all eyes continue to be on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Despite suffering a nasty hip injury this past season, Tagovailoa's doctors have said he'll be good to go to start his NFL career. In fact, he is expected to be selected as early as No. 3 overall.
This latest tidbit, however, could put the kibosh on those projections.
Ex-NFL front office executive Michael Lombardi revealed on his podcast, "GM Shuffle," that the southpaw signal-caller has failed "at least" one physical with a team.
"That's got to get around that at least one team failed the physical on Tua; others have to be concerned now as well," said Lombardi, via Bleacher Report. "[T]hey saw the fact it's not just his hip. It's his ankle. It's his wrist. He broke his wrist the first day of spring ball one year. And then they fixed it, he came back, and he broke it again.
"And he's brittle. You can't deny it. You can't deny it."
As it turns out, it's not at least one failed medical examination. Lombardi said that two teams "flunked" him in their pre-draft physicals.
Even though Tagovailoa showcased the traits of a potential franchise quarterback in the NFL, there has always been that concern of his ability to stay on the field. The hip dislocation was the latest of many ailments he faced during his three-year tenure in Tuscaloosa.
In fact, numerous draft experts have been hearing similar things to what Lombardi revealed on his podcast. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. revealed that the Miami Dolphins, whom many project to select Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick, have cooled off on him. He suggested that the team could pivot to Oregon QB Justin Herbert instead.
Could this all be some form of smokescreen? Possibly, but Lombardi's quote is pretty damning. We could very well see Tagovailoa drop out of the top 10 and into the latter portions of the first round.