One of the names that has been consistently linked to the open Patriots quarterback job has been Bears star Justin Fields, who might well be readily available is Chicago does as most suspect they will and use the No. 1 overall pick in the draft to pick USC’s Caleb Williams. If you’re a team in need to a top quarterback, acquiring Fields could prove an attractive option, because it would carry a relatively price in terms of draft capital—perhaps only a second-round pick.
And at the “Move the Sticks” podcast from the NFL Network, host Daniel Jeremiah and analyst Bucky Brooks—a four-year NFL defensive back and former Super Bowl champion—they’re looking at ways for the team to not only get Fields, but build up a serious pile of picks to rebuild the roster for new coach Jerod Mayo.
Jeremiah put forth a trade idea that would send Fields to New England for the No. 34 pick in the draft, one that is on the fringe of the first round. From there, Jeremiah postulated, the Patriots could auction off the No. 3 pick to a team—the Raiders, Falcons, Giants, etc.—who would be interested in trading up to add Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye.
Justin Fields ‘Included in This Draft Class’
Brooks agreed with that line of thinking as the best Patriots option. He went so far to say that Fields is a de facto member of this year’s draft class because of the Bears’ situation at No.1 and his possible availability in a trade.
“He’s included in this draft class because you have to think, ‘Well, wait a minute, if I’m gonna get a quarterback would I rather have J.J. McCarthy in the 20s or Justin Fields in the second round?’ That’s how it will go,” Brooks said. “So the scenario with the Patriots, does make sense. If they like Justin Fields, if they can do the deal early and he’s on campus, you give up the second-round pick.”
Fields is an interesting case, a quarterback with exceptional running ability who has struggled when he needs to be a pure drop-back passer. He did improve this season, especially late in the year after he came back from a thumb injury that cost him four games in October and November. He ran for 1,157 yards last season, on 10.7 carries per game, and curbed his rushing somewhat this season—he still had 9.5 carries per game, and totaled 657 yards.
But he got better as a passer, averaging 197.1 yards per game, the best total of his three-year career. He completed 61.4% of his passes and threw nine interceptions for a 2.4% interception rate. Those were all career bests.
New Patriots Quarterback Then Bolstered by No. 3 Pick Trade
After landing Fields, the Patriots could, conceivably, go with Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 3 to secure a top-flight young target. But more likely, the Pats would sell off the pick to add much-needed depth.
“We’re open for business on 3,” Brooks said. “Whoever wants to get the third quarterback—Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, whatever. What are you willing to give us? Because now we are going to reset our team with all the draft capital you give us in exchange for the third-best quarterback in this draft.”
Indeed, the Patriots are in position to think of the entire field of available quarterbacks, including Fields to Russell Wilson, this way.
“For some of these teams, you have to look at this class in terms of Justin Fields and whatever is available on the market,” Brooks said. “So I would think, Russell Wilson would be in the conversation, but we’ll use Justin Fields as the example. What we’re saying is, it’s not just how do we rank those guys, it’s Justin Fields in this draft class, where would he slide?”