At the start of the offseason, Justin Fields was the consensus QB2 behind inevitable first-overall pick Trevor Lawrence. However, as is so often the case, an entire offseason of overthinking has made Fields drop all the way down the rankigns. According to Grinding the Mocks, Justin Fields is currently, on average, the fourth quarterback off the board, and the sixth overall pick. If this comes true, then that means that the New England Patriots could be in a position to trade up and get Justin Fields.
New England Patriots Could Trade Up For Justin Fields
First off, let’s start by explaining the concept of Grinding the Mocks. For those unfamiliar, the site was put together by Benjamin Robinson, and essentially analyzes just about every mock draft out there to get a feel for what might happen come draft day. While this is obviously an inexact science, mock drafts tend to give a decent idea of what will happen, and Robinson’s website is the best aggregate resource to determine player consensus.
Currently, Grinding the Mocks believes that Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance will go off the board before Fields. Lawrence and Wilson are the consensus 1 and 2 picks, while Lance is sitting at 5.5. Fields is next at 6th, while Mac Jones is all the way back at 13.8.
We know that the first three picks are going to be quarterbacks, as San Francisco would not have given up all that draft capital for a non-quarterback. What happens after that is anyone’s guess, as Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Miami do not need quarterbacks. There is a very real chance that Fields is sitting there at 6, which is probably when the Patriots would be able to trade up and grab him.
Examining a Potential Trade
It’s hard to imagine any world where Fields falls beyond the sixth-overall pick, as Detroit and Carolina both need long-term solutions at quarterback. With that in mind, the Patriots are going to need to come up with a trade proposal that makes sense for both themselves and the Miami Dolphins.
According to Rich Hill’s value chart, the sixth overall pick is worth 446 points, while the 15th overall pick is worth 315. Going by this chart, the Patriots would also need to give up the 46th overall pick and one of their Day 3 selections for both sides to receive a fair value. Of course, trading up for a quarterback could result in a bidding war, so there is a chance that this won’t be enough to get the job done. So, for the sake of argument, let’s say that New England gives up their first, second, and Stephon Gilmore in order to land the sixth-overall pick.
Trading that much talent hurts, but it’s worth it to secure a long-term answer at quarterback. Based on ceiling alone, Fields could very well be the best quarterback to come out of this class. He has an absolute rocket for an arm, solid accuracy, and has the potential to beat defenses with his legs. While common narratives suggest he’s not good at going through reads, Pro Football Focus gave him the highest grade of any quarterback on second and third reads.
The NFL Draft is an inexact science, and there is no guarantee that Fields ends up being a franchise quarterback. However, he has all the traits you love to see in a prospect and should be in a pretty good situation. New England loaded up on weapons in free agency, and Cam Newton’s presence means that Fields won’t be forced to start right out of the gate.
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