The former Alabama Quarterback has rebounded since his injury earlier in the 2019 season. With Joe Burrow primed to go first overall in the NFL Draft, many teams in need of a quarterback are going to be targeting the next best QB, Tua Tagovailoa. Tua is the most talented Quarterback in the draft, but he is also the most risky. His injury this season was supposed to hurt his draft stock a lot, and it is still a concern, but it appears that Tua is set to go in the top ten, or even five, in the draft anyway. There are teams vying for the chance to draft the 21-year-old Quarterback, but these five have the best shot:
5. New England Patriots
The New England Patriots are going to need a Quarterback soon. Regardless of whether or not Brady re-signs with them, he is 42 years old and has one more year, at most, as a starting-caliber Quarterback.
The Patriots have the 23rd pick in the draft, so Tua isn’t going to just fall into their lap, however, New England has a war chest of 14 picks in this year’s draft. They have three third-round picks, two fourth-round picks, and three sixth-round picks. New England is going to have to trade a lot of those picks to trade up into the top five.
The likely candidates for the Patriots to trade with are the Giants and the Redskins. The Giants are in no need of a Quarterback since they seem set on Daniel Jones going forward. What the Giants need is a lot of draft picks to help surround their young Quarterback. The Patriots could trade their first, along with a third, fourth, sixth, and seventh, along with a future third or fourth, for them to be able to push into the top five and draft Tua. The Redskins are less likely to make that trade because they have the second pick and are primed to take, arguably the best player in the draft, Chase Young. They’d have to give up a lot to acquire that pick, and they may have to because of another candidate in the Tua sweepstakes drafts before New York.
4. Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions have Matthew Stafford, but the Lions have been considering shaking things up. Matthew Stafford has been involved in trade rumors, although they were likely planted by the Lions themselves.
Tua’s agent has made it clear that the young man would be willing to sit a year in order to learn from a veteran like Stafford. It’s not a bad move by Detroit and no one knows if the rumors to trade Stafford were actually planted purposefully.
Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn appear to have their last chance in Detroit this season, but if they were to draft a developmental project like Tua, the two of them may just buy themselves a few more years as they see Tua’s development.
Detroit is not likely to take Tua with the third pick, but it would be an interesting prospect for Detroit and Tagovailoa and his agent have both expressed interest in playing there.
3. Los Angeles Chargers
With Phillip Rivers officially gone, the Chargers are in need of a backup Quarterback. The Chargers have the sixth overall pick so they wouldn’t need to give up as much as the Patriots would to trade up into the top five.
The main concern for LA is that Tua would likely be gone by the time the Chargers got to draft someone, so they would have to make a trade.
The Lions have interest in the Cornerback, Jeffery Okudah as their top prospect, so they might be willing to trade down. The other team that might be open to a trade is the Redskins. Washington has their sights on Chase Young, but they haven’t made it definite. Young is only one player and the Redskins need a lot more than that if they want to win with their new Quarterback, Dwayne Haskins. The Chargers have each of their picks, so they have a bit of mobility to trade up.
They could trade their sixth overall pick, their second-round, and a fourth-round pick, along with a future third-round pick. That would greatly increase Washington’s war chest and they’d be able to grab several talented, young players instead of just one.
2. Carolina Panthers
Another team with a top ten pick, the Panthers seem to be willing to give up a lot of assets to trade up into the top five.
In a recent mock draft, the Panthers give up their first-round pick (7th overall), their second-round pick, their 2021 first-round pick, their 2021 fourth-round pick, and their second-round pick in 2022 to the Lions in exchange for the third pick in the draft. Any team with a brain would take that trade in a heartbeat. The Lions definitely could take Tua, but he’s not worth that much when the Lions have Stafford, and honestly, he’s not worth that much period.
The Panthers are ready to move on from Newton, and Tua is the best man for that job. The Panthers owner may just be determined enough to make that impulsive trade. The Lions would do that the second it’s proposed if Young is off the board, which he likely will be, and would still likely get their Cornerback, Okudah, with the 7th pick.
1. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are the clear favorites to pick up Tua. They have the fifth overall pick and are the most determined to pick him up. They had Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starting Quarterback this season, and although he’s a surprisingly solid player, he’s not the answer long term.
Tua is very talented, and arguably has the highest ceiling in the draft. The Dolphins have been expressing major interest in Tua all season. The Lions are giving Miami quite a scare as the Lions have been reportedly been in trade talks for both Stafford, and their pick, making the likelihood of Tua going third overall is increase day-by-day. Even if the Lions trade their third pick, odds are, it will be to another team that is interested in Tagovailoa.
This is very likely done on purpose by Detroit because they want the Dolphins to trade up to the second pick so that Chase Young can fall into their lap, and the Dolphins may just do it. The Dolphins have been lacking excitement with their team for a long time and Tua would finally bring some to South Beach.
Their recent Quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, seemed like a bust, but is now Tennessee’s starting Quarterback of the future, making the need to make the right call at Quarterback that much more important.
The Dolphins have hinted at being willing to give up quite the haul to trade up two or three picks. The Dolphins are desperate for a Quarterback with star potential, and Tua is the only other option for them. The Dolphins likely will do whatever is necessary to nab the Alabama Quarterback.
Tua’s future is unknown, but it makes for some of the best speculations in this offseason. The draft is fast approaching and teams are going to have to start making up their minds on where they stand with their chances with Tua. This draft is going to be very interesting.