With one day to go before the 2021 NFL draft, talk is heating up about the potential for a blockbuster trade.
The Falcons, who own the fourth overall pick, have been the focal point of some trade speculation, and the biggest report comes from Jeff Howe of TheAthletic.com, who writes that the Patriots have spoken with the Falcons about the fourth pick.
Any team trading up that high would be doing it for a quarterback, and in this case it appears that the quarterback the Patriots love is Ohio State’s Justin Fields. Most projections have Fields still available at No. 4, with Trevor Lawrence going first, Mac Jones going second and either Mac Jones or Trey Lance going third.
What would the Patriots have to give up to get the fourth overall pick? The 49ers had to give up their third-round pick this year and their first-round picks in both 2022 and 2023 to move up from No. 12 to No. 3. The Falcons would probably ask the Patriots for something similar to move up from No. 15 to No. 4.
Making a trade up that big would be out of character for Bill Belichick, who has generally preferred trading down and acquiring additional picks rather than mortgaging the future with a blockbuster trade up. But if the Patriots even had a conversation with the Falcons about the fourth pick, that’s a strong sign that the Patriots are eager to find their next franchise quarterback, and they may think Fields could be their man.