Are the Jaguars really going to draft Tua Tagovailoa?

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars may or may not be in the market to draft a quarterback, but could they end up with Tua Tagovailoa?

By trading Nick Foles, and offloading his contract, the Jacksonville Jaguars have shown a commitment to Gardner Minshew as their starting quarterback in 2020. But according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, talk of the Jaguars landing Tua Tagovailoa has gathered steam in recent days.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter has added to the speculation, reporting Jaguars general manager David Caldwell has called Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn about “this evening’s picks.”

The original steam behind Tua to Jacksonville is fairly easily rooted in him falling a bit, since the Jaguars have the ninth overall pick right now. However they also have pick No. 20, thanks to the Jalen Ramsey trade with the Los Angeles Rams last year.

Those two picks would be the centerpiece of a move up Detroit’s spot at No. 3, perhaps with another pick or a player (Yannick Ngakoue? Leonard Fournette?) included.

Minshew acquitted himself nicely as a rookie last year, which motivated the Jaguars to part with Foles and they were fortunate to find a trade partner. But it’s hard to declare he’s a sure-fire franchise quarterback right now, and his upside is not near that of a healthy Tagovailoa.

The Jaguars are looking toward a rebuild, swapping veterans for draft picks in the interest of alleviating the salary cap strain they entered the offseason in. So far, with deals for Ngakoue and Fournette likely to come, mission pretty much accomplished.

It would be a very Jaguars’ move to consolidate their two first-round picks and trade up to No. 3 for Justin Herbert instead of Tagovailoa. But a big move up for whoever they think can be their franchise quarterback won’t be mocked in the moment, with only hindsight to prove it was wrong. Or maybe one of Herbert or Tua falls to them at No. 9, and removes the choice that would come with a trade up.

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