Justin Fields no longer is among the potential choices for the 49ers with the third overall draft pick according to most recent reports, and other NFL teams could be interested if he ends up being available after the 49ers make their selection.
NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported Monday that teams are eyeing a move into the top 10 if Fields ends up falling, with the New England Patriots, in particular, having their sights set on the Ohio State product.
"This is an interesting one, the Patriots have been calling around in the top 10, and teams that have gotten those calls believe that their target would be Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. Now it would cost the Patriots a lot to move from 15 up to seven or eight, probably something in the region of a second-round pick, that is a small price to pay if NEw England sees an opportunity to land a potential franchise quarterback."
Pelissero identified the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers, who have the seventh and eighth overall picks respectively, as teams receiving the most calls from teams looking to trade up.
Fields' draft stock has been one of the more confusing to watch in recent memory. Since he was coming out of high school, Fields has been considered a surefire top-five draft pick, always ranked right alongside Trevor Lawrence since both were prep signal-callers in the state of Georgia.
Even going into the 2020 NFL Season, nearly every mock draft had Lawrence and Fields as the unquestioned best two prospects.
Fields completed 70 percent of his passes and threw 22 touchdowns against just six interceptions as Ohio State played just eight games in their 2020 season. He also led the Buckeyes to a national championship appearance, which was preceded by a six-touchdown performance in leading Ohio State to a semifinal win over Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers. Fields finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting after finishing third in 2019.
Nothing in his play from last season would lead one to diminish his draft stock, and yet, Zach Wilson and Mac Jones both have surged out of nowhere into the likely second and third overall picks after Lawrence. Even Trey Lance, who was the third-ranked QB going into 2020 by most experts, is being given more consideration by the 49ers at No. 3 than Fields.
The 49ers certainly won't be following the wishes of their most ardent fans, as it has been a near consensus among the Faithful that Fields is the player the organization should be focused on with the third pick. Scouring through 49ers Twitter reveals a number of fans who already have photoshops of Fields in a 49ers uniform as their profile pictures.
However, if the league's insiders are correct, Fields isn't among the final candidates Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch are considering at No. 3. If they indeed pass on the former Buckeye, he clearly will have some teams itching to move up and try to acquire him.