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#pounditThursday, December 9, 2021

Tua Tagovailoa has chance to fall outside top 15 of draft?

Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa has gotten nothing but positive feedback on his surgically repaired hip, and there is a wide-ranging belief that he is a lock to be selected within the first six picks of the draft. But if for some reason he makes it past No. 6 overall, the tumble down the board could be quite significant for the former Alabama star.

The Bengals are expected to take Joe Burrow first overall. The next three picks belong to the Redskins, Lions and Giants, and none of those teams are in the market for a quarterback. The Dolphins pick at No. 5 and the Chargers at No. 6, and both likely have interest in Tagovailoa and/or former Oregon star Justin Herbert. It’s possible the Chargers could try to trade up ahead of Miami to assure they have their choice between Tagovailoa and Herbert, and Detroit has reportedly been receiving some interest in the third overall pick.

How much interest? That depends who you ask. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the market for the No. 3 pick might not be as hot as perceived. As one person told Birkett, the Dolphins may even believe they can land Tagovailoa with their second pick of the first round, which falls at No. 18.

That seems pretty unlikely. If the Dolphins want Tagovailoa, it would be extremely risky for them to wait until their second pick. We saw a similar situation with the Giants when they had two picks in the first round last year, and they decided to take Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall. General manager Dave Gettleman faced a lot of criticism from people who thought he could have taken another player at No. 6 and still gotten Jones at No. 17, but there’s no sense waiting if you think the player is a franchise quarterback. It would be a surprise if the Dolphins didn’t view Tagovailoa or Herbert (whichever they prefer) the same way.

For what it’s worth, Birkett has Miami taking Tagovailoa at No. 5 in his mock draft. His rationale for that was that teams always seem to panic and take QBs early every year, but he clearly thinks the possibility exists that Tagovailoa could take a big tumble down the board.

If Tagovailoa does fall past No. 6, the Dolphins may have to compete with at least one team that has interest in trading up for Tua.

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