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Tua Tagovailoa Reportedly 'Uncertain' About Dolphins' Interest After NFL Combine

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama looks on during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa reportedly felt there was an awkward energy at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine during his meeting with the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday.

According to Safid Deen of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, a source said Tagovailoa left the meeting "uncertain" about whether the Dolphins are truly interested in selecting him No. 5 overall and making him their franchise quarterback.

The source added: "No one was excited. They didn't give any indication of 'he's their guy.' He felt weird, like is this a joke? ... He's not turned off, but it was just weird."

Despite that, Tagovailoa reportedly still wants to play for the Dolphins and is hopeful they will either take him fifth overall or trade up to secure him.

Per Deen, the source said Tagovailoa left the meeting with several questions, including whether they would prefer to take Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert.

The source also indicated that Tua is aware teams play their hand close to the vest around draft time and that the Dolphins' demeanor may have been a case of them doing precisely that.

The Alabama product's talent is undeniable, but his recent string of injuries is cause for concern. He dealt with ankle ailments in both 2018 and 2019, and hip surgery ended his 2019 campaign after just nine games.

While speaking to reporters at the combine, however, Tagovailoa said he expects to receive full medical clearance on March 9 and hopes to throw for teams at his own personal pro day on April 9.

Tagovailoa is two seasons removed from finishing as the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, as he completed 69.0 percent of his passes for 3,966 yards, 43 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2018. The Hawaii native was a likely finalist in 2019 before the injury, as he completed 71.4 percent of his attempts for 2,840 yards, 33 touchdowns and three picks.

Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow is expected to go No. 1 overall to the quarterback-needy Cincinnati Bengals, and Tagovailoa could be the next signal-caller off the board, although Herbert and Utah State's Jordan Love made strong cases for themselves at the combine.

Miami has the most obvious need at quarterback aside from the Bengals among teams picking in the top five, but there has been talk of the Detroit Lions moving on from veteran Matthew Stafford, so they could go for Tua at No. 3.

Also, teams like the Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers could make a play for Tagovailoa by trading ahead of the Dolphins.

The Dolphins aren't tipping their hand when it comes to which quarterback they have interest in, but with incumbent starter Ryan Fitzpatrick being 37 years of age and 2018 first-rounder Josh Rosen looking like a bust, one can only assume they will attempt to address the position on draft night.

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