Michael Conroy/Associated Press
The Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots are both in the market for a new franchise quarterback, and Peter King of NBC Sports’ latest mock draft has them covered.
In this scenario, the injury concerns for Tua Tagovailoa are enough for the Dolphins to pass on him early, leading to a significant slide for the Alabama quarterback. The Patriots would then scoop him up at No. 13 after a trade up from No. 23.
Here is a look at the top picks from King’s latest draft projection.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
3. Miami Dolphins (trade with DET): Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
4. New York Giants: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
5. Detroit Lions (trade with MIA): Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
8. Arizona Cardinals: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
10. Cleveland Browns: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Aside from referring to Isaiah Simmons as a “defensive player” who can line up at multiple spots on that side of the ball, there are few surprises among the top 10.
The biggest note comes from the Dolphins, who have been linked to Tagovailoa since the start of the offseason.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller listed Tagovailoa as the No. 2 quarterback behind Joe Burrow and sixth-best overall player in the class. The Alabama product was given an overall score of 94, while there is a significant gap to Herbert at 89 (Round 2 grade).
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However, Tagovailoa dislocated his hip last November and has dealt with ankle and wrist problems during his college career. This could take him off the board completely for some teams.
King predicted the Dolphins would trade up to get a quarterback but go with Herbert instead.
“My pick is based on Miami choosing to go conservative here instead of trying to hit a triple in the gap by picking Tua Tagovailoa,” King wrote.
This leaves the Patriots open to trade up to grab a potential steal in Tagovailoa.
“It’s simply a guess. But think if you’re [Patriots coach Bill] Belichick,” King said. “Because your team never finishes 3-13, you never have a chance to get one of the best quarterbacks in the college game.”
New England is currently projected to go into 2020 with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer as the top options at quarterback after losing Tom Brady to free agency. This move could provide the organization with a lot more excitement at the position going forward.
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