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Jumbo Package: NFL Draft News and some NCAA Rule Changes feature Alabama Influences

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Nick Saban tells the Dolphins’ they’ll regret not picking Tua Tagovailoa

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, the NFL Draft has total dominion over all of sports news right now, and it will continue its grip on the #content for the next week. Fortunately for us, Alabama will, once again, play a major part of the entire draft, especially with Tua Tagovailoa being the most-talked about prospect in this draft cycle.

Now Saban says the Dolphins will be making a similar mistake if they pass on former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on Thursday night.

Asked by Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal about Tagovailoa, Saban answered by referencing his experience with Brees.

“We failed Drew Brees on the physical,” Saban says. “That’s why he’s not Miami’s quarterback.”

Saban warns that teams that think Tagovailoa can’t come back from his hip and ankle injuries will suffer the same regrets.

“The sky’s the limit,” Saban said of Tagovailoa’s NFL future. “I don’t think any of the questions with Tua have to do with his ability to throw the ball and be effective.”

Nick knows from experience.

Look, I absolutely don’t fault a QB-needy team for choosing Joe Burrow first. He’s very talented, and has a skillset that seems very likely to translate without busting. And doesn’t have a history of injuries.

But these people out here saying the Justin Herbert is the “safe” pick.... I just can’t. Josh Norris of Rotoworld (who is a really good Twitter follow for NFL stuff, by the way) said it best:

Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts gives his thoughts on the difference between Nick Saban and Lincoln Riley.

Jalen, once you’re done with the football career, politics just might be a career to get into.

Meanwhile, the NCAA has slipped in some rule changes just as all the news is going towards the NFL.

Also, if time is put back on the clock at the end of a half due to a stoppage for replay review, the half is over if there are less than three seconds remaining. This rules tweak is apparently in response to the final play of the first half of the Iron Bowl, when Auburn kicked a field goal after one second was put back on the clock due to replay review (Auburn beat Alabama by three points in the game).

Great, so it took Alabama’s ruined season being the guinea pig for the NCAA to realize there was a loophole that had to be fixed. And of COURSE Auburn was the one-time beneficiary. Obviously, the Barn fans are taking it as well as could be expected:

This is pure internet gold

Some other minor rule changes include allowing players ejected for targeting to remain on the sidelines, the inclusion of 0 as an allowable jersey number, and a two-minute “guideline” for instant replay reviews... though it won’t exactly be enforced.

Back to the NFL, here’s the news du jour:

Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is currently retired from the New England Patriots, has agreed to return to the NFL as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as part of a trade, according to Gronkowski’s agent.

“Pending the physical, Rob has agreed to play for Tampa this season,” agent Drew Rosenhaus told CNN. “He will honor his current contract at this time.”

Gronkowski has one year left on his current contract, which is worth $10 million.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport both report that the terms of the proposed trade will see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get Rob Gronkowski and a 7th-round pick from the Patriots in exchange for a 4th-round pick from the Buccaneers.

So, to recap: The Patriots just got a 4th round pick for a guy that was retired. Bill Belichick continues to be playing 4D chess with the rest of the league.

Now that the Bucs have a nice new tight end in Gronk, O.J. Howard just might be up for a blockbuster trade. The former Alabama product was rumored to have not meshed too well with new head coach Bruce Arians, and there were already rumors about him being shopped for a trade even before this. Expect the talks to ramp up even more.

For some good news to get your day going, here’s Jarran Reed, former Alabama player and current Seattle Seahawk:

Reed plans to provide 25,000 meals over the next eight weeks in the city of about 35,000 in North Carolina’s Coastal Plain region. Reed said he worked with Justo’s Grillin’ and Catering on the initiative.

“I want to give an extra thanks to the essential workers and the front-line workers that are out there every day putting their life on the line to help fight COVID-19,” Reed said in his Twitter announcement. “Let’s all stay safe together and be blessed to fight COVID-19 together.”

Finally, if you’re still commuting or just bored at home with some time, here’s my self-plug for a couple of podcasts:

Here I joined Ed Valentine of Big Blue View to discuss how players like Jedrick Wills and Xavier McKinney might fit with the New York Giants.

Similarly, I also spoke with Brandan Shulze on Field Gulls about a number of Alabama players who might fit with the Seattle Seahawks (a team obviously very near to my heart).

After that, I did a follow up with Brandan about a number of different players around the SEC, since all those Northwesterners don’t know anyone that isn’t a PAC-12 player.

You can also find them on your podcast app of choice under the Field Gulls Podcast or Big Blue Radio.