The coronavirus pandemic is seemingly affecting everything that we once knew, including the things that we don’t normally ever get access to in the sports world. We’re starting to see more and more important details come to light when it comes to the behind the scenes world of the NFL Draft. Players haven’t been able to meet in person with NFL teams. Doctors and trainers haven’t been able to get a close look at their athlete’s health and physical shape. With the NFL Draft only a few mere days away, this is shaking up to be the most uninformed draft in the history of the league.
On March 12, the night before the league halted visits between college prospects and NFL teams, the Miami Dolphins frantically rushed to try to get Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa to their facilities for an in-person meeting. Upon trying to figure out the details of the visit, the league gave the order to prohibit all in-person visits following the suspension of the NBA season. Tagovailoa was unable to visit the Dolphins’ facilities, therefore not being able to clear the air on his physical and overall health post-surgery.
While teams were able to see most players during the combine several weeks ago, Tua has since posted workout videos that show great improvement and positive overall maneuverability. Miami holds the No. 5 selection in the NFL draft this week and is expected to take a quarterback in the first round. The Dolphins have done their due diligence on each of the top QBs in this year’s class, including Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert, as it appears the Cincinnati Bengals are locked in on LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. This will be an extremely important draft for Miami, as they have an NFL-high three first-round picks and 14 total selections. They’ve also made a point to keep veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and improve the defense dramatically in free agency.
Dolphins general manager Chris Grier had this to say about Tua and the team’s QB search heading into draft week –
“[Tagovailoa and Herbert are] both interesting kids. I’ve gotten to know both of them through this process. They’re really good people. They’re both very talented players. Both have won a lot of games. They’re both intelligent players and winners.”
This week will be a huge eye-opener for the league, as all team’s/prospects are in similar boats heading into the sport’s biggest week of business.