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Samsonite Make Your Case: Should Pats trade up for Tua?

Should the Patriots trade up for QB Tua Tagovailoa?  Paul Perillo and Mike Dussault debate in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case.


The Patriots are entering uncharted territory at the quarterback position for the first time in almost 30 years. While 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham showed promise last season and appears to be the favorite to take over the starting job this season, it's far from assured that Stidham is the long-term answer.

With veteran Brian Hoyer in the mix as well, the team has a young quarterback and a veteran to mentor him while giving the team a level of insurance, but it seems assured that the Patriots will add at least one more quarterback, likely in the draft. But how much draft capital will the team be willing to expend for another signal caller? With their 23rd overall pick, the Pats are somewhat in no man's land as far as this year's upper-echelon quarterbacks go.

By most accounts Joe Burrow will be the top overall pick but how things go after that is anyone's guess. Prior to his season-ending hip injury, Tua Tagovailoa would've been right there with Burrow, but now, despite positive reports on his recovery, it's an unknown where he might be drafted.

This week's Samsonite Make Your Case question of the week is…

Should the Patriots trade up for Tua?

Mike Dussault says…


Should Tua fall out of the top-five picks it just might put him in range for the Patriots to make a major move to go up and get him. While Stidham certainly showed promise, Tagovailoa is a special player and one who could ensure another decade of stability at the quarterback position.

There's no question it would cost a king's ransom to get up that far. The Patriots 23rd overall pick, the 87th overall pick and a player like Joe Thuney or Stephon Gilmore might be only the starting point for a potential trade partner to even consider it, but what value do those picks and potential players even have if the team can't find an answer at quarterback?

Tua's experience playing for Nick Saban at Alabama is already a great starting point for transitioning to Bill Belichick's program. He's an ideal dual-threat quarterback, the kind who is just as dangerous running as throwing, and he's used to playing against the top competition in college football. He'd put the Patriots at the forefront of the next offensive evolution in NFL and position them to compete against Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson sooner than later. Belichick has replaced every single piece around Tom Brady at least once, why couldn't he do it with a player like Tua?

It would be expensive, but if the Patriots could get within striking distance of locking up a generational quarterback, I think they should pull the trigger.
- MD

Paul Perillo says...


There are a number of reasons I'm not interested in making a major trade to move up the board in order to grab Tua Tagovailoa.

First, I think the gap between where the Patriots currently sit and the area in which the Patriots would need to get is too big. Many experts say Detroit at No. 3 is open for business with the pick. New England has just the 23rd pick plus a few thirds, the first coming at 87. That means players would need to be involved as well, and other than Stephon Gilmore I'm not sure the Lions would deem anyone else worthy of giving up such a high commodity.

Joe Thuney is an excellent guard, but not worth the third pick. Julian Edelman makes sense as an experienced slot option, but his age and health would likely scare the Lions away. And I don't want to give up Gilmore plus the picks to grab a quarterback coming off a major injury. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to talk, especially given the relationship between Bill Belichick and Lions GM Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia.

But high price tag aside, the main reason I'm against the move is Tua himself. I think he's an excellent college quarterback but has limited potential in the NFL. He's not very big (6-1, 218) and has already absorbed a number of injuries. The latest, a dislocated hip, is a major issue for a quarterback who relies on his ability to get outside the pocket to make plays. In short, I'm just not sold on his ability to be a franchise quarterback at the pro level.

So, as much as I love the idea of being aggressive when it comes to the draft, I don't think Tua is worth the risk.

- PP

Be sure to check out our draft prospects section where you can watch college highlight videos of all the top prospects entering the 2020 NFL Draft.

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