After Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa went down with a season-ending hip injury in mid-November, some questioned whether or not he’d be worth a flier in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft.
Well, if you ask former Super Bowl winning QB and current Lipscomb Academy head coach Trent Dilfer, whichever team drafts Tagovailoa is getting perhaps the steal of the draft.
“I have a very simple job - fine tune a Maserati,” said Dilfer, who is training and working with the projected top-15 pick on the campus of Lipscomb Academy.
“This kid doesn’t need to change much; he only needs to build a foundation for a 15-year HOF career. Stop with the stupid narratives of ‘when’ he gets drafted. Whoever drafts him wins the draft!”
The 22-year-old Tagovailoa shared a video of himself on Twitter and Instagram participating in cone drills, shuffling his feet and moving his hips seemingly without issue.
“Practicing social distancing with the long ball today,” Tagovailoa tweeted. “Feels good to spin it again.”
The 6-foot-1, 218-pound quarterback was projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft before suffering a hip injury in the Crimson Tide’s 38-7 blowout win over Mississippi State on Nov. 16.
Tagovailoa had surgery to repair his dislocated hip with a posterior wall fracture on Nov. 18. He planned to have a throwing session for NFL teams on April 9, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he may have to rely on sending out tape to interested teams instead of participating in any in-person scouting drills.
Dilfer wasn’t the only former NFL quarterback impressed with Tagovailoa’s recovery thus far. Former Detroit Lions QB and current NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky raved about Tagovailoa’s progress during a recent interview on ESPN.
“I am shocked at how good Tua looks,” Orlovsky said. “I did not expect this in March. We’re still in March. And this is a kid that six or seven weeks ago was still on crutches. And I understand it’s a 10-second video. But he looks really good. He looks sudden. He’s moving well. And he looks to be in a good place.”