Report: Patriots could trade up if Tua Tagovailoa falls in draft
The Tua Tagovailoa storyline is quickly becoming one of the biggest in the NFL Draft, and it could get even bigger if one scenario plays out as one well-connected individual thinks it might.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. believes the New England Patriots will be tempted to trade up if Tagovailoa begins falling into the teens during the draft.
“You hear people in the league saying he could fall and everybody is doing their due diligence, including the Patriots,” Kiper told WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria,” via Ryan Hannable of WEEI. “You can rest assured, if he gets into the middle of the first round and you’re sitting there at No. 23, wouldn’t you jump up and maybe get him? You know the connection with Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. And I know how Nick feels about Tua.”
Kiper added that, for all of the concerns about Tagovailoa’s health, quarterbacks don’t get hurt frequently in the NFL, and said that may make it worth the risk to a team like the Patriots.
“This guy has had significant injuries, so to me, if he starts slipping a little bit, sliding down, where it happened with Aaron Rodgers not that long ago, and he was projected to be No. 1 two weeks before that draft and he went in the 20s, yes, if it did happen, I would think New England would be aggressive to try and go up and get him,” Kiper said.
True as it may be that quarterback injuries aren’t exceptionally common, there are heightened concerns about Tagovailoa after he underwent hip surgery. Couple that with the fact that team doctors can’t get a one-on-one look at him and you have a scenario where some teams aren’t even willing to consider the Alabama quarterback. For the Patriots, it could prove to be a calculated risk worth taking if he falls toward them on Thursday.