Mel Kiper Jr. Thinks Patriots Would Aggressively Pursue Tua Trade If He Falls

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIApril 18, 2020

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

The New England Patriots may be looking to pull off a major move should Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa begin to slide when the NFL draft kicks off Thursday. 


.@MelKiperESPN thinks the #Patriots “would be aggressive” in attempt to trade up for QB Tua Tagovailoa if he slips Full interview: https://t.co/87NGqjvXeB https://t.co/NAgI6GOn91

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. believes the Pats would be aggressive in trying to trade up to snatch Tagovailoa if his draft stock continues to fall.

Recent reports have suggested teams at the top of the draft are wary of selecting the former Crimson Tide star because of injury concerns following his hip surgery in November. 

Kiper said on WEEI radio in Boston when asked if Tagovailoa could slide:

"It's the million dollar question. That's the whole intrigue and the element of the draft that you just can't figure. You hear people screaming that Tua has got to go high, you've got to take that risk, and then you hear people in the league say he could fall and everybody is doing their due diligence, including the Patriots. 

"Rest assured, if he gets to the middle of the first round and you're sitting at No. 23, wouldn't you jump up and maybe get him?"

The Patriots have entered a new era following Tom Brady's decision to leave for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leaving many to wonder how they'll bolster the position. Currently the team's quarterbacks are Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer. 

While the buzz out of Foxborough is that the Patriots are high on Stidham and would like to see what he offers, the reality is that the 2019 fourth-rounder has thrown just four passes in the NFL over three games. 

Kiper added the connection between New England head coach Bill Belichick and Alabama coach Nick Saban could ease some of the fear that comes with taking a quarterback after major offseason surgery, yet that might not even be needed if Tagovailoa falls far enough. 

Unfortunately, the reason why he would slide in the draft is exactly why he presents teams with a scary option. 

"Now that's the thing," Kiper said. "Can you keep him healthy?"

If the answer under those circumstances is yes, the Patriots may have a way to land Brady's replacement.