Former NFL Executive Michael Lombardi Worries About Tua Tagovailoa's Size

With Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffering the dislocated hip on Saturday, there have been questions arising about whether or not he has a future in the NFL. For some, this latest injury is just another example that he won't have a career due to being too fragile. Former NFL executive Michael Lombardi is one such person, and he says that Tagovailoa's size could be an issue.

Yahoo Sports released an article on Monday that examines the complexity of Tagovailoa's future. With his injury, there are concerns about whether he will remain as a potential top-five pick or drop into the later rounds of the NFL Draft. Lombardi was one of the figures interviewed for this piece, and he explained why, in his opinion, there are concerns about Tagovailoa's draft prospects and potential NFL career.

“He’s not a big man,” Lombardi said about Tagovailoa (6-foot-1, 218-pounds). “Little men get hurt. Let’s be honest, here.”

Lombardi did also add that he believes the smart play for the Alabama quarterback will be to either return to school for his senior season instead of declaring for the NFL Draft or to simply sit out and recover from the dislocated hip.

While there could be concerns about Tagovailoa's long-term prospects based upon being too small, this is not the only factor that plays a role in potential injuries. In recent seasons, multiple NFL starters have suffered from injuries that either sidelined them for the season or affected their future in the league.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is on Injured Reserve with an elbow injury, and he has been stricken with multiple ailments throughout his career. At 6-foot-5 and 241 pounds, Big Ben strikes a very different figure than Tagovailoa, but he has also dealt with multiple fractures (nose, foot, rib), as well as concussions.

Similarly, recently-retired Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) also suffered some serious injuries during his eight-year career. The former first overall pick dealt with a torn labrum in this throwing shoulder, at least one concussion, a lacerated kidney, torn cartilage in two ribs, and a partially torn abdomen. Much like Roethlisberger, Luck is the prototypical size for a quarterback, but he did not avoid the injuries.

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Will Tagovailoa's size play a role in whether or not he is drafted in the early first round or much later? It's entirely possible, but recent players (Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield) have shown that size is less of a stigma for NFL executives than it used to be.

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