Despite most mock NFL drafts still predicting Tua Tagovailoa to the Miami Dolphins, it is becoming plausible the Chargers will trade up for Tua.
Obstacles remain for any team daring to take Tua Tagovailoa in the NFL Draft. Teams will have to evaluate new Tua workouts on video rather than in-person. Tua cannot make trips to team facilities for follow-up medical testing. His fine team of medical experts will do tests in April and distribute them to NFL teams for review.
The team that surmounts those obstacles, must gulp down the risk and draft Tua Tagovailoa. Which team that will be and what Draft position is somewhat trending away from the Miami Dolphins. It is looking more and more like the Los Angeles Chargers and Tua are an NFL Draft Day marriage.
In great detail Chargers’ expert Jason Reed explains why.
After the wave of moves that the (Chargers have) made, it looks more likely that Tom Telesco will get aggressive and trade up in the draft to select Tua Tagovailoa, who is one of two rookie quarterbacks (along with Joe Burrow) that will most likely be an above-average quarterback right away in the league.
As Bama Hammer mentioned in an earlier post, two of the moves referenced by Reed were right-side offensive linemen. Perhaps they were just the best available or maybe the Chargers are preparing for a left-handed quarterback.
Los Angeles has a quarterback for the 2020 season in Tyrod Taylor. At best he is an adequate ‘bridge’ QB to a Chargers future without Philip Rivers. Jason Reed is so un-enthused about Taylor, he argues a 2020 rookie should become the starter sooner than a bridge season.
I am perfectly fine with Taylor being the veteran quarterback to guide a rookie, but start the rookie. We know what the ceiling is with Taylor — a 9-7 season — the ceiling could be higher with a rookie.
The other side of an argument for Tua Tagovailoa becoming a Charger is patience. If it is unwise for Tua to take any pounding for a few more months, the Chargers could ease him into action later in the season. Taylor is serviceable. He may not be the difference-maker in any wins, but he has the experience to not cause losses.
The biggest gamble for the Chargers will not be drafting Tua. It will be in deciding to trade up to No. 3 or No. 4 or sit at No. 6 and hope the Dolphins take Justin Herbert. Herbert has the physique to take the pounding that results from the Dolphins offensive line.
The Chargers, with only seven 2020 picks, don’t have much to trade but they should have enough. The Lions or Giants could slide to No. 6 with minimal negative impact on their Draft plans.
If a trade happens, when? Sometime after Tua’s next medical exams (around Apr. 8) can be sent to teams.