The 2020 NFL Draft is just a week away and Tua Tagovailoa’s landing spot remains the biggest mystery with draft day approaching. Amid growing reports that Tagovailoa could slide out of the top-five selections, a new team has emerged to potentially trade up for him.
According to The Athletic’s Ben Standig, the Las Vegas Raiders are a team to watch that could move up for Tagovailoa if he slips past the Miami Dolphins with the No. 5 overall selection.
The possibility of the Dolphins passing on Tagovailoa seemed impossible months ago. Before he suffered a season-ending hip dislocation, the Alabama star was viewed as a legitimate candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick.
Unfortunately, medical concerns and skepticism over his long-term durability have only intensified since. Multiple teams reportedly failed Tagovailoa’s medical grade and several organizations have him ranked below Justin Herbert on their draft board.
The durability red flags are alarming and could easily push Tagovailoa down in the draft. However, he also impressed during his independent Pro Day and scouts love him. When healthy, NFL evaluators compared Tagovailoa to Drew Brees for his exceptional accuracy and was compared to Patrick Mahomes for his ability to throw on the run.
The Raiders could be the perfect team to trade up for Tagovailoa. They hold two first-round picks, No. 12 and No. 19 overall, in addition to three third-round selections. Jon Gruden could pull off a blockbuster trade and let Derek Carr start in 2020 then have Tagovailoa ready to emerge as the face of the franchise in 2021.
Fortunately, the speculation around the 2020 NFL Draft is nearing its end. In a matter of days, rumors will turn into actual draft picks as NFL teams welcome the game’s newest stars.