Peruse a mock 2020 NFL Draft and you’re bound to find the Miami Dolphins and former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa tied at the hip, with no pun intended. A fractured hip that ended his college career has thrown a wrench into the plans of Tagovailoa being a surefire top-five pick in the NFL Draft, despite his recent insistence that he is nearing 100 percent.

Miami finds itself in pole position if it determines Tagovailoa is the quarterback of the future in South Beach. The only way that a team who has interest in the Alabama southpaw could secure his services would be to hop Miami in the pecking order by making a trade. If the Dolphins are sold on Tagovailoa, it becomes imperative to take him at No. 5, rather than waiting until their late first-round choice at No. 18, if for no reason other than minimizing the potential of other teams swooping in.

Speculation has run rampant on whom Miami could ultimately snag in the first round, whether it be LSU quarterback Joe Burrow or Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. What seems to be a constant is that the Dolphins will have themselves a shiny new passer under center heading into 2020, whether or not he backs up veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

As far as the argument for where to take Tagovailoa goes, it boils down to a simple point: If Miami doesn’t take a quarterback at No. 5, who would they take? The team has not been directly connected to many other names, with some of the likely backup plans being either an offensive lineman or Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons. Would either of those options be enough to sway the Dolphins from taking a player they potentially view as a backbone of their franchise? It seems unlikely.

Live and breathe the NFL?

🚨 Get viral NFL graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

Many prognosticators appear concerned with taking a player coming off major hip surgery so early in the draft. From Miami’s perspective, their selection is where it is, unless they’d be willing to move down and still hope that Tagovailoa would be available — but any team looking to move into their slot would likely have the quarterback position in its crosshairs.

There is some risk associated with selecting Tagovailoa fifth overall, but if he pans out and is able to become a mainstay under center, will it make any difference if he was drafted 18th? Conversely, if he doesn’t pan out, will fans bemoan utilizing the fifth pick, and not the 18th, on him?

Ultimately, if Tagovailoa is Miami’s man, they’re best served selecting him early, and as soon as possible.