Latest New England Patriots Leads

Patriots Trade Up to No. 4, Take Justin Fields in Peter Schrager's Mock Draft

Kyle Koster
Apr 8, 2021, 9:03 AM EDT
Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images
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As soon as the NFL Draft gets here, the pre-draft takes on Justin Fields can stop and the post-draft takes on Justin Fields can begin, so there's something to look forward to as our celestial orb keeps on spinning. The Ohio State quarterback has been through the wringer publicly and privately as everyone tries to decide if college football's second-best signal-caller will be any good at the professional level. His stock has fluctuated wildly and it seems as though he could go anywhere from second to 13th.

NFL Network's Peter Schrager has an interesting take on the whole situation — one which would be best for content but terrible for the other teams in the AFC East. In his first mock draft, Schrager has the New England Patriots trading up to the No. 4 spot currently held by the Atlanta Falcons to make Fields the new face of the franchise.

This would be a trade that rocks the NFL, but I don't think it's too crazy. The Patriots don't envision having a pick as high as they currently do (15th) anytime soon, and this is their year to make a big move if they're ever going to get their blue-chip QB to develop. Fields was a highly recruited player who performed on the biggest of stages. This year's first- and second-rounder (No. 46) plus next year's first and third could be enough for New England to get Atlanta to move back 11 spots.

This doesn't seem like a surprising chain of events. Atlanta knows full well that Matt Ryan is still a Top-10 quarterback in the league on any given Sunday and has quietly kept the franchise afloat through some less-than-desirable circumstances following the Super Bowl implosion. Whoever picks fourth will potentially be getting the fourth choice at the most important position in sports, so it'd be understandable to stay out of the sweepstakes if they weren't enamored with the player available at that time.

Learning the ropes behind Cam Newton and at the knee of Bill Belichick would be an ideal situation for Fields. There wouldn't be immediate pressure and though the team has a spotty track record developing young quarterbacks, they developed the best one ever and know more about winning than most of the league combined.

Take everything you think you know about Belichick's spotty drafting record and throw it in the wastebasket. If this new information suggests he likes Fields so much, the rest of the teams in the league should give strong consideration to making an even more attractive offer to the Falcons.

The most interesting spot in the draft just became more interesting.

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