Examining Tua Tagovailoa's Potential Landing Spots in the 2020 NFL Draft

Ryan Phillips
Tua Tagovailoa NFL Combine - Day 1
Tua Tagovailoa NFL Combine - Day 1 / Alika Jenner/Getty Images
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Tua Tagovailoa's eventual landing spot is easily the biggest story as we approach the start of the 2020 NFL Draft. Depending on what you read, Tagovailoa could go as early as third, or drop into the 20s. Some of those reports feel like a smoke screen, but no one knows what's going to happen.

Tagovailoa's recovery from a dislocated hip and his entire injury history have been under a ton of scrutiny during the pre-draft process. While he's easily the second-best quarterback in the draft on film, some believe he's dropping due to injury concerns and a potential lack of upside. He could truly land anywhere.

Here is a look at the five likely potential landing spots for Tagovailoa when the draft kicks off on Thursday.

Tua Tagovailoa Landing Spots

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins have the inside track on landing Tagovailoa. They own the fifth overall pick, but also have two other first-rounders and two second-rounders they could use as ammo to trade up if they want to. If Miami selects Tagovailoa, he would give head coach Brian Flores a franchise quarterback to build around. Somewhere in the team's next picks they would have to wind up landing him a franchise offensive tackle and potentially some weapons. Miami's offensive cupboard is pretty bare right now.

This is the most obvious fit for Tagovailoa in the first 10 picks. It makes a lot of sense for everyone involved.

Los Angeles Chargers

Another pretty clear fit would be Tagovailoa landing in Los Angeles with the Chargers. The Bolts have the sixth pick in the draft and need a long-term solution at quarterback, despite head coach Anthony Lynn's insistence that Tyrod Taylor can win him games. Given Tagovailoa's injury history, this could be a situation where he sits for a year behind Taylor, fully heals, and takes over in 2021.

The Chargers might have to leapfrog the Dolphins at No. 5 to get Tua. They have their full draft allotment this year and in 2021 but they don't have any extra picks to deal with.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Is Gardner Minshew the long-term answer in Jacksonville? Minshew was solid as a rookie but he didn't blow the league away. His QBR of 42.6 ranked 26th in the NFL in 2019. If Tagovailoa did wind up falling, the Jaguars would have to give him at long look at No. 9. That would be a massive value, especially considering the Alabama quarterback was projected as the No. 1 pick merely a few months ago. You can bet they'd stop and think about it if he was available.

Las Vegas Raiders

No one has any idea what the Raiders are going to do during the draft. For their first draft as the Las Vegas Raiders, they're sitting with the 12th pick in the first round, and anything is possible. The team has a number of holes to fill, but do they see quarterback as one of them? We've heard whispers for months that Jon Gruden doesn't love Derek Carr, and Mike Mayock said outright they're always look ing to improve back at the combine. If Tua drops to 12, would the Raiders pass up that opportunity? It's hard to see that happening.

If Tagovailoa fell that far, Gruden could grab a young, highly-accurate quarterback to build around in his new city. There would be a ton more work to do around him to fill out the roster, but they could end the Carr Era and move on to something new and exciting as they embark on a new era in franchise history.

New England Patriots

Here's arguably the most fun scenario. Could the Patriots find a way to trade up from No. 23 to the top 10 and land Tagovailoa? Crazier things have happened and the team is reportedly looking for another quarterback. A move like this has been suggested by a number of experts. Bill Belichick would enjoy a smooth transition from Tom Brady to his next franchise quarterback and Tagovailoa would be playing for the NFL's version of Nick Saban. It could work out great for both parties.

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