Why the Los Angeles Chargers must trade up for Tua Tagovailoa

Los Angeles Chargers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Chargers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Chargers have the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which still is not high enough to get the best-case scenario quarterback.

The Los Angeles Chargers are entering a new era at the quarterback position as the team and Philip Rivers have mutually agreed to part ways after Rivers struggled in 2019 and led the Chargers to a 5-11 record.

As a result, the Chargers have the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, putting them in a perfect position to draft a quarterback in what is a somewhat deep quarterback class. There could not have been a better time to draft a quarterback than this offseason.

There are two teams ahead of the Chargers that are most likely going to take a quarterback: the Cincinnati Bengals, who inevitably are going to select 2019 Heisman Trophy and National Championship winner, Joe Burrow, and the Miami Dolphins, who pick one spot ahead of the Chargers.

More from LA Sports Hub

A third less likely but still possible team is the Detroit Lions. If the Lions are able to move on from Matthew Stafford then they would be in play to draft a quarterback as well.

If Burrow is a lock for the first overall pick then Tua Tagovailoa is a lock for the second quarterback taken in the draft. Tua was the Heisman favorite leading into the 2019 college football season and had an excellent two-year stint as the starting quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide.

In fact, Burrow’s emergence out of nowhere kind of helped the Chargers, as it actually puts the team in play to get Tua, something that would not have been possible without Burrow, as Tua would have been the consensus first overall selection.

The only problem is that Tua likely won’t fall to the sixth overall pick, especially with the Dolphins owning the fifth pick. That would leave the Chargers with Justin Herbert, who was solid with Oregon in 2019 but is not on the level that Tua is on.

Thus, we could expect the Chargers to toss around the idea of trading up in the draft to land Tua. The team should not just toss around the idea, however, the front office needs to fully buy-in and make it happen.

The reason being is that the Chargers currently have a talented supporting cast around the quarterback position and Tua gives the team the best chance of being great right away and allowing the Chargers to return to the playoffs.

If the Chargers were in a full rebuild mode, as the Miami Dolphins are, then it would not be as pressing. However, with a talented group that just went 12-4 the year prior, the Chargers need a franchise quarterback that can be good right away. Tua is much more of a lock in that regard than Herbert.

Plus, because the Chargers have that solid foundation and have all of their draft picks in the near future, they can certainly afford it. If we go back to the 2018 NFL Draft we will see that the New York Jets made the exact same trade from the sixth overall pick to the third overall pick.

In that trade, the Jets sent the Colts, along with the sixth overall pick, two second-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft and a 2019 second-round pick.

The Chargers do not have two second-round picks to trade to the Detroit Lions but they could package next year’s first and third-round pick with this year’s second-round pick. In return, they could also get the Lions’ third-round pick to make up for the second-round pick they are sending this season.

Essentially, the Lions are getting a first and third-round pick next year as well as the chance to move up 29 picks to have two early second-round picks. If needed, the Chargers could also package in a future late-round pick.

Would all of that be worth it for Tua? Absolutely. And while the Detroit Lions might be in the market for a starting quarterback, they could still draft someone to sit behind Stafford while also stockpiling on assets.

There should not be any threat of the Miami Dolphins one-upping the Los Angeles Chargers and trading for the second-overall pick, either. While the Redskins could be swayed by two first-round picks in this year’s draft, they also would get Chase Young, who is arguably the best prospect in the draft, with the second overall pick.

Plus, I doubt the Dolphins would do all that work to obtain those first-round picks to overpay simply to outbid the Chargers.

Tyrod Taylor is not a viable starting option. dark. Next

The Los Angeles Chargers need a quarterback like Tua, can afford to trade up to get him and should not be hesitant in pulling the trigger.