JUNKIES: Is Tua too big of a risk for Redskins at No. 2?

Ben Krimmel
February 28, 2020 - 3:04 pm

The Washington Redskins have been on deck for 62 days, sitting behind the Cincinnati Bengals. The franchise has just another 55 before needing to decide on No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. 

New head coach Ron Rivera and his staff face a tough choice in the first round: Will they take a defensive lineman for the fourth-straight season or will it be a quarterback for the second season in a row? 

It basically comes down to two people: Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young or Alabama passer Tua Tagovailoa?

Mel Kiper started off the 'Redskins should take Tua' conversation after he said on Thursday's episode of First Take Washington should select the Alabama QB with the second overall pick.

"If you look at Tua, if the medical staff clears him -- and this is the leap of faith you have to take. The medical staff is gonna be key to this, more so than the scouts and the evaluators. They're the key. If they sign off, you take Tua at two. There's no doubt about that. You take Tua," Kiper said. "You don't trade the pick, you don't take Chase Young, you take Tua."

But what about the injury? That is not an insignificant concern.

"Is anybody confident that Tua would even be ready for the season?" John Keim told The Sports Junkies Friday. "At what point would he be fully ready to play? Like any team drafting him, I think you have to weigh that."

There is little concern about Tagovailoa's ability. Entering the 2019 college season he was seen as the Heisman Trophy frontrunner and was primed to lead the Crimson Tide to another College Football Playoff appearance. But another pair of injuries derailed his season. Factor in LSU QB Joe Burrow's stellar year and that has led to Burrow becoming the consensus No. 1 pick in the draft.

The durability issue is a stumbling block.

"Do you roll that dice on a guy with those injury questions about his game," Keim said. "I think without the health (concerns), he's a fantastic player as far as when you're projecting him. But the health is an issue here and the durability is an issue. So it's really hard to separate that."

"Tua can be a great player, but the durability concerns, I think, are real."

The key will come down to the medical tests the Redskins can run between the combine and the draft. 

Having said that, what does it say about an organization with a roster in need of talent using another high pick on a quarterback? 

"I'm kinda against the whole idea of (taking) back-to-back quarterbacks. It just makes it so wasteful," Eric Bickel said. "I feel like it's not even fair to Haskins, too." 

However, Bickel admits there is a situation in which drafting Tagovailoa makes sense: "If you have Tua as that next-level quarterback and he's a can't misser, sure."

Of course, trading down to accumulate more draft capital is still an option, but that would mean passing on the opportunity of drafting a generational-talent.

"I think it may be hard to pass up on a guy like Chase Young or a trade," Keim told The Junkies, "(to select) a guy that you may have real durability concerns about."

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