Patriots

Report: Might Patriots trade up for Justin Fields in NFL Draft?

Patriots

Many believe the New England Patriots still will look to take a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft after re-signing Cam Newton on a one-year contract.

In fact, some believe the Patriots might trade up from No. 15 overall to land one of the top QBs in the 2021 class.

NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks joined colleague Daniel Jeremiah on the "Move The Sticks" podcast to share his belief that New England's bold approach to free agency will translate to April's Draft.

"We saw them completely rebuild the roster with the number of signings and free agency," Brooks told Jeremiah "… I believe they’re about to go all-in on an offensive makeover. The young quarterback is the final piece to the puzzle. And I think that quarterback will be an athletic quarterback."

Bean: Should Pats trade up for a QB? Here's what to consider

According to Jeremiah, the Patriots think very highly of Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.

"I keep an eye on somebody like Trey Lance or Justin Fields," Jeremiah said. "Those are the two that would make sense for them to target. Hear a lot of rumors out there that they are really high on Justin Fields out of Ohio State. So, they’d have to (trade up) quite a ways to get Justin Fields."

Fields projects as a top-10 pick and could be the third QB taken after Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and BYU's Zach Wilson. The Patriots have 10 total selections in the 2021 Draft, though, so they could swing a trade into the top 10 to take Fields -- as our Phil Perry had them doing in his latest NFL Mock Draft.

 

Fields has slipped on some draft boards amid concerns that he goes through his progressions too slowly. But NBC Sports Edge NFL Draft analyst Thor Nystrom downplayed those concerns in a recent conversation with Perry on the Next Pats Podcast.

Next Pats Podcast - Making the case for Justin Fields to be the next Patriots QB | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"I view Justin Fields' willingness to go through his progressions and keep his eyes downfield, I view that as a major, major strength," Nystrom told Perry. "I also acknowledge that he is, at times, too methodical. ... (But) he's so stupid athletic and explosive and has an awesome arm -- his arm is every bit as good as Zach Wilson's."

Fields completed 70.2% of his passes last season for 2,100 yards with 22 touchdowns and six interceptions while leading the Buckeyes to the national title game. He also ran for 383 yards and five scores and arguably is the fastest QB in the Draft.

Bill Belichick's offseason to date suggests he's hell-bent on returning the Patriots to prominence, so we wouldn't be surprised if New England makes a splash to snag a QB on Day 1.