Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft has Dolphins taking Justin Herbert over Tua Tagovailoa

Justin Herbert, Dolphins, NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday morning, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. released the fourth iteration of his 2020 mock draft. One of the most notable picks revolved around the Miami Dolphins No. 5 overall selection.

Instead of having Miami take Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, like most pundits have suggested will happen, Kiper has the Dolphins taking Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert at five, with Tua getting selected one spot later at No. 6.

Given how hard it is for teams to evaluate players leading up to this draft with the coronavirus pandemic, this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise for Dolphins fans. Herbert is a fine prospect who checks off all the boxes, but his ceiling is obviously lower than Tua’s at this point.

Tua offers very high potential. If it wasn’t for this hip injury, the Cincinnati Bengals would likely be considering him at the No. 1 spot right now.

But according to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, ‘multiple teams’ have taken Tua off their board due to his lingering injury concerns. Clearing physicals now and being able to compete in training camp isn’t the issue most teams have, it’s the long-term stability of Tua.

Miller writes, “[Tagovailoa] can pass the physicals now and be cleared to play, but what will his hip look like in three or five or 10 years? That’s the question most people around the NFL are asking this week.”

Could Miami be one of those teams who’ve taken Tua off their board? It’s certainly a possibility.

Kiper has also been pretty spot on with his quarterback landing spots in the draft over the past few season. Last year, he projected the New York Giants taking Daniel Jones in the first round even though many scouts and NFL analysts didn’t believe there was any chance of that happening.

Kiper is as connected to NFL inner circles as anyone in the business. When he hears rumors, they more often than not come to fruition.

With draft night just over a week away, we’re sure to hear more rumblings around the league about Tua’s potential landing spot.