Could Patriots trade up in draft for Ohio State QB Justin Fields?
Justin Fields had 41 TD passes for Ohio State in 2019. Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The New England Patriots will almost certainly select a quarterback at some point during this year’s NFL Draft, and many believe it will be in the first round. At least one analyst is predicting they will make a big splash at the position by doing something Bill Belichick almost never does.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper has the Patriots selecting former Ohio State star Justin Fields with the 10th overall pick in the draft. New England currently has the 15th pick, so moving up to No. 10 would involve a trade with the Dallas Cowboys. Kiper explained his rationale during Tuesday’s edition of “Get Up!”

“When you’re in a division with Josh Allen and Tua (Tagovailoa) and Zach Wilson, you have to go get somebody like Justin Fields, who I think is the second-best quarterback in this draft. … We know the top three are locked in, then it becomes Trey Lance or Justin Fields for the fourth spot. If it is Trey Lance, and that’s the consensus I hear when I made calls over the weekend, then Justin Fields is available.”

Kiper said New England would then become “front and center” in the Fields discussion. Washington and the Chicago Bears are two other teams that could look to trade up, but they are scheduled to pick after the Patriots at the moment.

If you look at the draft board as it currently stands, the Denver Broncos at No. 9 are the only team between the Patriots and the fourth overall pick that would consider drafting a QB. That means it is legitimately possible that New England will have a shot at either Lance or Fields. That presumes the first three QBs taken are Trevor Lawrence, Wilson and Mac Jones. Either way, Belichick has some paths to a top-four or top-five QB if he chooses to take them.

The Patriots still reportedly have their eye on a trade for one veteran quarterback, but addressing the position in the draft might be their best option.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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