Could the Patriots trade up to take Justin Fields?

The Patriots are investing a lot of time in the quarterback market, but could they trade up in the draft to take Justin Fields?

Justin Fields, Patriots, 2021 NFL Draft
NFL Analysis Network

Depending on the mock draft, even with a downward trend lately, Justin Fields could be the second overall pick. Or he could tumble down the first round. In some respect, it feels like he’s the guy a team picking later in the first round would love to have fall to him.

It’s not that Fields is a flawless prospect. His showing against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game stands as the evidence for critics. The stigma attached to how quickly Dwayne Haskins flamed out in Washington will hurt Fields, as a fellow former Ohio State signal caller. But he won’t be falling out of the first round.

With the 15th overall pick in April’s draft, the New England Patriots could just take whichever of the top quarterbacks is available to them. The absolute locks to be gone by then are Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson. After that, there’s a wide range of possible outcomes for Fields, Mac Jones and Trey Lance.

It’s possible Fields is there for the Patriots at 15, without them having to do anything. But the idea of them sitting on their hands is hard to fathom. With quarterbacks in the draft, more than any other position, “if you like a guy, go get him” stands as a viable philosophy.

Are the Patriots and Justin Fields a match?

In his (ESPN+) article laying out landing spots for free agents and rookies, within the lens of fantasy football, ESPN’s Mike Clay matched Fields with the Patriots. The notion they’d trade up to get him is offered. Some mock drafts have a team (not necessarily the Patriots) trading up to get Fields.

The Patriots are leaving no stone unturned on the quarterback market right now. They have been rumored in the trade market, and that will presumably extend right to free agency. They are reportedly “heavily scouting” the top quarterbacks in the draft too. If a thorough breakdown of Fields pushes him up their draft board, an aggressive move up to get him may come.