NFL Draft Rumors: New England Patriots Could Move Up To Land Tua Tagovailoa As Tom Brady’s Replacement

Tua Tagovailoa gives an interview before the NFL combine.
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The New England Patriots could have a big move planned to kick off the post-Tom Brady era, some NFL analysts are predicting.

With the NFL Draft approaching and no clear signal of who will be the quarterback of the future in New England, a number of experts — including CBS Sports reporter Jason La Canfora — are predicting that the Patriots will significantly trade up to snag Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa at the No. 13 spot.

While La Canfora noted that it is normally not head coach Bill Belichick’s style to move up several spots on the draft board, the need for a quarterback to replace Brady makes this a special circumstance. This is especially given the prediction that the talented, but injury-plagued Alabama quarterback may fall down to the middle of the first round.

“Maybe this happens at 10. Maybe it doesn’t happen at all. It’s not a typical Belichick move, but these are not typical Patriots times,” La Canfora wrote in his final mock draft before the actual event kicks off on Thursday night. “No one will have better info on the injured QB, and Belichick has made big trades with the 49ers before involving a QB. San Francisco is eager to get back, and Bill has draft capital.”

La Canfora is not the only one predicting that the Patriots might trade up for Tagovailoa. During a recent appearance on ESPN’s Get Up, analyst Louis Riddick said that if the Crimson Tide quarterback should fall down the draft board, there is “no question” that that Patriots would show some interest.

As Saturday Down South explained, Riddick said that the Patriots are in a tough spot with the No. 23 overall pick — likely outside the range of drafting a true game-changing player but maybe having the potential to land a franchise quarterback by moving up a few spots on the board.

The Patriots are currently moving forward with second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who earned the backup spot to Brady last season. But ESPN noted that the draft could be a signal of just how much confidence Belichick has in the former fourth-round pick, and how much competition he plans for the starting job in 2020.

There are also question marks surrounding Tagovailoa’s health, as he is coming off hip surgery after suffering a season-ending injury in 2019. There were also reports that some teams were unsure whether it would have a long-term impact on his play.