While Cam Newton will return for a second year with the New England Patriots, his team-friendly contract doesn’t preclude the franchise from adding another player at the position, whether it is through trade or the NFL Draft. While Alabama’s Mac Jones has been the quarterback most-often connected to the Patriots, he may very well be out of the team’s range at No. 15. In his latest ESPN mock draft, Todd McShay now has Bill Belichick making an aggressive move up in the first round to take another of the top quarterbacks: Ohio State star Justin Fields.
That latest mock coincides with Jones’ incredible rise up draft boards. Todd McShay has the Alabama product going to the San Francisco 49ers at No. 3, citing rumblings he’s heard.
Fields had a strong final year at Ohio State overall, leading the Buckeyes to the national championship game. He put up some eye-popping numbers at his Pro Day, including a 4.43 40-yard dash despite stumbling, and threw it well. And still, some lingering questions seem to be driving his stock down, fair or not.
With Jones off the table in his new mock draft, McShay believes that Belichick will jump up to No. 11 to make Fields the fifth quarterback taken in the NFL Draft. In his mock, the Pats send No. 15, a third-rounder, and a 2022 second or third rounder to the New York Giants to make it happen.
Mock 4.0 is here… Picks 3 (SF trade up) and 4 (ATL) were the toughest decisions. https://t.co/pt4hoYDYnA
— Todd McShay (@McShay13) April 1, 2021
“The Pats haven’t spent a first-round pick on a QB since 1993 (Drew Bledsoe), but now is the time,” McShay writes. “Fields is accurate downfield and can develop into a top-tier starter for a team searching for stability at the position in the post-Tom Brady era.”
It would be a bold move by Bill Belichick, but probably a popular one. And if he sees Fields as a guy that needs to develop for a year, he still has Cam Newton, a veteran who shares many of the same traits as the big, mobile Fields.
After last season, it is clear that the New England Patriots need to find the true successor to Tom Brady, and Fields could very well ending up being one of the best quarterbacks in this class, and an NFL star.
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