Carolina Panthers: Drafting Tua Tagovailoa would require a trade

2020 NFL Mock Draft, Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
2020 NFL Mock Draft, Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

If the Carolina Panthers hope to land quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, in the draft a trade will be needed.

The Carolina Panthers have plenty of questions to answer this offseason. After back-to-back second half collapses, second-year owner David Tepper elected to part ways with long time coach Ron Rivera. In addition to naming a new head coach, the Panthers have a number of roster positions to address, including quarterback.

Cam Newton is a former league MVP, Rookie of the Year, All Pro and No. 1 overall draft pick. In nearly a decade he’s led the Panthers franchise on their most successful stint in franchise history. Three divisional titles, four playoffs and a Super Bowl appearance but recent injuries – including playing only the first two games of 2019 – have raised concerns about his future.

Should the Panthers decide to move on from Newton, finding a quarterback would be priority number one. Backup Kyle Allen didn’t display enough this past season to be considered a long-term answer and rookie Will Grier still needs time to develop. However, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa recently declared his intent to enter the NFL Draft and Carolina may be interested.

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The Panthers currently own the seventh pick but with quarterback being a prioritized position and teams ahead of them also in need, it would likely require a trade in order to land one of this year’s top prospects. Fellow quarterback, Joe Burrow (LSU), is projected as the first selection for Cincinnati but Tagovailoa could be the second signal caller to hear his name called.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper projects Tagovailoa will be drafted by either the Miami Dolphins (No. 5) or Los Angeles Chargers (No. 6) as both could use his services. If so, then Panthers general manager Marty Hurney would need to move up from seven by executing a trade with Washington (No. 2), Detroit (No. 3) or the New York Giants (No. 4) to ensure Tagovailoa remains available.

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While there’s currently no guarantee Tagovailoa is even on the Panthers radar, it is evident a trade would probably be needed to draft the former Alabama star.