NFL Insider: Teams 'Overthinking' Tua Injuries Ahead of Draft

Chris Lingebach
April 20, 2020 - 9:54 am
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As the NFL Draft draws near, the annual tradition of rapidly shifting draft stock for quarterbacks is already well underway.

After Joe Burrow goes first overall to Cincinnati, there's really no telling whether Oregon's Justin Herbert or Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa is the next quarterback to go off the board. Like clockwork, seemingly out of nowhere one quarterback's stock shoots through the roof. This year that's Utah State's Jordan Love.

The Sports Junkies remarked during a Monday segment with CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora how crazy this annual frenzy is.

"Yeah I'm with ya," La Canfora said on 106.7 The Fan. "Especially in this year, where you don't have the visits to the teams and you don't have the ability to work guys out, you don't have owners wining and dining with these kids. You just go back to the film."

La Canfora mentioned how absurd it is that teams could be overthinking Tagovailoa's injury concerns to the point of wanting to draft Herbert over him.

"I understand there's an injury, but doctors aren't lying about what Tua's cleared to do and what he's not cleared to do," he said. "Like doctors aren't lying about the medical reports. Doctors aren't lying about what they see when they evaluate him.

"And when you couple where he is right now with what he did on film the last few years, to me, you're overthinking it, you're getting too cute, you're outsmarting yourself if you're thinking Herbert or Love, or whomever, is a better quarterback than him."

"But this is an inexact science and this is the silly season in the NFL," he continued, "when everybody's got a theory about everything and everybody's got an idea about everything. And we'll see what actually happens, but I'm with ya, this is pretty ridiculous to me."

La Canfora is hearing as many as six NFL teams could be in the mix for a quarterback in the first round, detailing how that interest could play out on draft day.

"Everything I've heard is that the guy who the Dolphins are most intrigued with is actually Jordan Love," La Canfora said. "Now, they're not taking him at five, and they might not have the huevos to wait and take him at 18, or move up from 18 to do it, but that's the guy who I hear that they are kind of most in love with."

"I don't think they're Herbert fans much at all, and I think they like Tua, but they do have concerns about the hip," he said. "So is it possible that they take a blue chip guy up top and then figure the quarterback thing out? It is. I think it's a dangerous, risky game to be playing, but they might be willing to play it."

"The Chargers are taking a quarterback," he said. "I think they're just waiting to see what happens in front of them. I don't get the sense that they're motivated to move up. They think they're gonna have a shot at Tua or Herbert – maybe both – at six, so they're gonna stay there.

"I don't rule the Raiders out, in terms of getting involved in this thing one way or the other, if a certain quarterback is there. Particularly if Tua got out of the top 10, I think Jon Gruden breaks his fall. I think the Patriots are in this as well. I know they've done a lot of work on all these kids. Let's say Miami does take Tua and then let's say the Chargers take Herbert; Jordan Love, I'm not sure he gets past the Patriots at 23."

"The Saints, it wouldn't shock me if they took a quarterback," he said. "And then there's always the idea of somebody moves up from the second round into late one in order to get the fifth-year option on a quarterback, and do what Elway did for Paxton Lynch, or do what the Ravens did for Lamar Jackson, and you go get in this case the fifth quarterback in the draft – some years it would be the fourth – and get your five years of control on him and take him in the first round."

Junkies host Eric Bickel noted how initially, when the Redskins first slotted into the second overall pick after the season, it seemed like they might have a lot of leverage for a potential trade with the pick, but that notion seems to have faded completely. 

"There's really no chance of them trading out of that, is there?" he asked.

"Not much," La Canfora said. "I think if a deal of that magnitude – a sort of reverse RGIII deal – was going to materialize, I think it already would have. In the same way that that deal with the Skins and the Rams was done well before the draft took place. Yeah, I think it is what it is with them. Not a whole lot of drama, not a whole lot of intrigue."

"The quarterback market was not what some thought it might be," he said. "And I think at least some of that had to do with the ridiculous free agency and trade quarterback market that was out there, where there's so much availability. Like why am I gonna give a boatload of picks up to move three spots to take a quarterback?

"I could go sign Cam Newton for one year, $10 million if I really wanted to right now, you know what I mean, and have all kinds of roster flexibility."

"Yeah, I think they take Young and they call it a win," he said of the Redskins. "And they plug yet another high-end draft piece into that front seven. They should expect and do expect to have a top-10 defense, and with all the draft capital they've put in that side of the ball, they better."

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