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Justin Herbert moving up Dolphins draft board as Tua Tagovailoa injury concerns continue?

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Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual - Oregon v Wisconsin Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins will select Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Or maybe with the third-overall pick if they trade up with the Detroit Lions. Or possibly with the second-overall pick if they move up to the Washington Redskins’ position. Whatever the case, the Dolphins will land Tagovailoa, as everyone, everywhere on the internet will tell you.

Except, it sounds like the Dolphins are not as sure as everyone else. The Dolphins, according to a report, may be leaning toward Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert over Tagovailoa.

The Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero writes this morning, “the club’s view of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is not of a slam-dunk pick” and “the club has an increasingly positive view of Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert.”

Salguero adds the Dolphins are concerned about Tagovailoa’s hip injury, but they also have concerns “about his durability in the long-term beyond the current injury.” Tagovailoa sustained multiple ankle injuries requiring surgery during his college playing time, and it could be a sign that he will struggle with health at the NFL level.

Herbert is considered a top prospect, but could be a frightening name for Dolphins fans. Herbert, who threw for 10,541 yards in four seasons at Oregon on a 64.0 percent completion rate with 95 touchdowns and 23 interceptions, has been oft compared to Ryan Tannehill. Could the Dolphins select a quarterback who reminds analysts of the first-round quarterback Miami jettisoned just a year ago?

Herbert has the prototypical size of an NFL quarterback. He has the arm strength and velocity needed to get balls through tight windows and to anywhere on the field. He has the athleticism to turn a broken play into a gain. He looks and acts like a quarterback, but he does have concerns when it comes to decision making and he does lock on to a receiver at times, but those are things that can be coached out of him.

The Dolphins will spend the NFL Scouting Combine next week, as well as upcoming Pro Days, private workouts, interviews, and physicals to better understand their potential draft targets - including Tagovailoa and Herbert. They will either become more comfortable with Tagovailoa or they will look toward Herbert. They will know what they like and do not like about both quarterbacks well before April’s NFL Draft.

Or everything we are hearing could just be a smokescreen to turn the attention away from Tagovailoa.