2020 NFL Draft

Should Patriots trade for Tua Tagovailoa in 2020 NFL Draft? What recent history shows

Should Patriots trade for Tua Tagovailoa in 2020 NFL Draft? What recent history shows

You have to admit: It's an enticing scenario.

Just weeks after losing Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots swing a trade to land Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Nick Saban-groomed quarterback becomes a star in New England, and the Brady-less Patriots don't miss a beat. Dynasty intact.

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The Tua-to-New England rumors have picked up steam amid reports that the Miami Dolphins may try to trade up to the No. 1 overall pick to draft LSU's Joe Burrow instead of targeting Tagovailoa.

The Boston Globe's Ben Volin then laid out a scenario in which the Patriots trade up to the Lions' No. 3 pick to select Tagovailoa, sending Detroit some combination of draft picks that includes their first-rounder (No. 23 overall) while potentially adding wide receiver Julian Edelman in the deal.

That'd be a major shakeup, especially if the Patriots move Edelman. So, is it worth spending that much capital to land the quarterback you covet?

Fortunately, there's plenty of recent precedent.

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Consider this stat: Seven of the 11 quarterbacks taken in the first round since 2017 have been acquired by a team trading up in the draft.

Here are the seven QB and the deals teams swung to land them:

Mitchell Trubisky, No. 2 overall (Bears)
Bears trade their 2017 first-round pick (No. 3; Solomon Thomas), 2017 third-round pick (No. 67) , 2017 fourth-round pick (No. 111) and 2018 third-round pick to San Francisco.

Patrick Mahomes, No. 10 overall (Chiefs)
Chiefs trade their 2017 first-round pick (No. 27; Tre'Davious White), 2017 third-round pick (No. 91) and 2018 first-round pick to Bills.

Deshaun Watson, No. 12 overall (Texans)
Texans trade their 2017 first-round pick (No. 25; Jabril Peppers) and 2018 first-round pick to Browns.

Sam Darnold, No. 3 overall (Jets)
Jets trade their 2018 first-round pick (No. 6; Quenton Nelson), 2018 second-round pick (No. 37), 2018 second-round pick (No. 49) and 2019 second-round pick to Colts.

Josh Allen, No. 7 overall (Bills)
Bills receive a 2018 seventh-round pick and trade their 2018 first-round pick (No. 12; Vita Vea), 2018 second-round pick (No. 53) and 2018 second-round pick to Buccaneers.

Josh Rosen, No. 10 overall (Cardinals)
Cardinals trade their 2018 first-round pick (No. 15; Kolton Miller), 2018 third-round pick and 2018 fifth-round pick to Raiders.

Lamar Jackson, No. 32 overall (Ravens)
Ravens receive a 2018 fourth-round pick and trade their 2018 second-round pick (No. 52), 2018 fourth-round pick (No. 125) and 2019 second-round pick to Eagles.

Rosen was a swing-and-a-miss, and Trubisky has underwhelmed so far. But three of these trades were absolute home runs -- Mahomes, Watson and Jackson -- while Darnold and Allen have the potential to be solid franchise quarterbacks, as well.

The takeaway: These teams had good reason to move up and land the QB of their dreams, and in several cases, they were justified.

Does this mean the Patriots should go all-out for Tua? Not necessarily. Belichick would need to covet Tagovailoa the same way the Chiefs coveted Mahomes, and our Tom E. Curran has reported New England is confident in the QB duo of Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer.

If the Patriots do have a QB atop their draft board, though -- whether that's Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jordan Love -- history suggests a trade-up could be worth it.

2020 NFL Draft: Searching for Gronk's replacement in Patriots 7-round mock

2020 NFL Draft: Searching for Gronk's replacement in Patriots 7-round mock

Let's get this out of the way: It's not a great time to need a tight end in the draft. Relative to other years, at least.

Last spring there were two surefire first-rounders, both out of Iowa: T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant. In 2018, only one tight end went in the first (Hayden Hurst), but two taken in later rounds (Dallas Goedert, Mark Andrews) are among the game's best young players at the position. O.J. Howard, Evan Engram and David Njoku all went in the first in 2017.

This year there's a "massive drop" in terms of tight end talent available, one league source told me this week.

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Not ideal for the Patriots, who could use an infusion of tight end talent perhaps more so than any other team in the NFL. And yet we have them selecting two in this year's class. Reach much? How does that make sense?

Well, just because this class doesn't have multiple high-end talents at that spot, that doesn't mean it's completely devoid of players who fit the New England mold. You'll see how it all comes together in our latest seven-round Patriots-specific mock.

Click here for Phil Perry's 7-round Patriots mock draft, Version 2.0.

Rex Ryan: Tua Tagovailoa is 'biggest gamble in the history of the NFL Draft'

Rex Ryan: Tua Tagovailoa is 'biggest gamble in the history of the NFL Draft'

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is perhaps the most intriguing player in the 2020 NFL Draft.

He has immense talent, both as a passer and as a player who can escape the pocket and pick up yards in the open field. Tagovailoa helped Alabama win a National Championship in 2017 and lost only two games as a starter in three seasons.

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Tagovailoa wasn't able to finish the 2019 campaign due to a hip injury. He also suffered injuries to his finger, quad and knee, among others, during his Alabama career. So, his injury history is a real concern and something that teams must evaluate closely before drafting him, especially in the top 10. Spending a high first-round pick on a quarterback who's unable to realize his full potential because he can't stay healthy has the possibility to set back a franchise for many years.

Former NFL coach and current ESPN analyst Rex Ryan said Friday on "Get Up!" that Tagovailoa is the "biggest gamble in the history of the NFL Draft."

Check out his reasoning in the video below:

There are four quarterbacks likely to be selected in the first round of the 2020 draft. 

The first should be Joe Burrow, who led LSU to an undefeated national title-winning season and also won the Heisman Trophy. You could make a strong case, based on Burrow's 2019 stats, that he had the greatest individual season in college football history. The Cincinnati Bengals would be incredibly foolish to pass on him with the No. 1 overall pick.

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Tagovailoa could be the next QB off the board. The Miami Dolphins with pick No. 5 and the Los Angeles Chargers with pick No. 6 both need a franchise QB. After Tagovailoa, Oregon's Justin Herbert and Utah State's Jordan Love have been projected to be selected in Round 1. Herbert is a likely top 10 pick. Love's landing spot is more difficult to predict, and some mock drafts have had him going to the New England Patriots at 23rd overall.

Tagovailoa has the ability to be the best QB in this draft class, but he's also among the riskiest players based on his injury history. It will be fascinating to see which team decides to take the gamble and bet on Tagovailoa fulfilling his impressive potential.