The New England Patriots already re-signed Cam Newton, but it seems another move at the quarterback position could be on the horizon.
Perhaps that move will come in the 2021 NFL Draft, which is set to begin just over a month from now on April 29. The Patriots likely wouldn't be able to snag one of the top QB prospects with the No. 15 overall pick, but considering their aggressiveness this offseason it's impossible to rule out a move up the draft board.
If Bill Belichick does decide to trade up for one of the top guys, Ohio State's Justin Fields could be on the table. On a new Next Pats Podcast, Phil Perry talks with NBC Sports Edge NFL Draft analyst Thor Nystrom about why it'd be smart of the Patriots to target Fields in the draft.
Nystrom believes some of the criticisms of Fields heading into the draft have been overblown, but he notes areas the signal-caller could improve.
"Once Trevor Lawrence goes off the board if you need a quarterback, for me it's Justin Fields, my QB2," Nystrom said. "He's gotten nitpicked a lot, as you know. He's gotten nitpicked from a lot of different people, FIelds has. I tend to think those nitpicks are overblown, so that's where my disagreement with some of these other guys comes in. The thing he constantly gets is this slow processor, he needs to get better at reading the field, and a scout had a quote that Fields only looked off of his first read five times last year. It's just absurd. It's nonsense. I don't know if that guy's watching the game or if he doesn't have access to stats, but it's just not true. ...
"I view Justin Fields' willingness to go through his progressions and keep his eyes downfield, I view that as a major, major strength. I also acknowledge that he is, at times, too methodical. ... Because he's so stupid athletics and explosive and has an awesome arm -- his arm is every bit as good as Zach Wilson's -- but because he has those two things, if he can start using those things in concert where you get a little bit more scrambling.
Perry says Fields gives him "Deshaun Watson vibes." Nystrom agrees.
"I think there's a ton of similarities there. It's not apples to apples, but that's as close as you're going to get as far as a modern quarterback. Some people comp him to Cam Newton, I don't see that one as much. Cam was the bigger kind of scrambler, Fields is a little bit smaller than that and he's faster."
Also discussed in the new episode: Phil Perry breaks down his latest mock draft, and a 1-on-1 with Clemson WR Amari Rodgers.