As to the first two picks in the draft, there’s no mystery. After that, it’s all a mystery.
At the center of the mystery resides Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. Once regarded as the No. 2 quarterback in the draft (especially after shredding presumptive No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence‘s Clemson Tigers in the national semifinals), Fields could go as high as No. 3, to the 49ers.
Our mock draft has that happening. It would be a surprise, given the reports that the 49ers narrowed their options to Mac Jones and Trey Lance. (Some continue to suggest that the Jets will take Fields. The fact that the Jets have done nothing to push back against the widespread belief that they’ll take BYU quarterback Zach Wilson makes that extremely unlikely. Fireman Ed does not like surprises.)
After No. 3, the window opens on a potential trade up for Fields. Someone could move to No. 4 with the Falcons (possible) or No. 5 with the Bengals (highly unlikely, given their propensity to stay put).
The Dolphins have demonstrated a mastery of the board, and they could easily move down from No. 6 with a team that wants Fields.
Next come the Lions at No. 7. Could former Ohio State standout Chris Spielman want a Buckeye to be the team’s quarterback of the future? Would the Lions trade down with a team that wants Fields?
Next are the Panthers at No. 8 and the Broncos at No. 9. Both have traded for veterans. Both could trade Fields — or trade down with someone who would.
The Cowboys would be a trade-down candidate, as would the Giants. The Eagles become an intriguing candidate to trade down, or to possibly take Fields.
Although some have Fields plunging past the first dozen picks, there’s a good chance he goes in the first 12 picks. And there’s also persistent speculation that the Patriots want him.
As Simms pointed out on Thursday’s PFT Live, there’s no way that we’d know that the Patriots want Fields, if they do. He was sufficiently confident in his belief that he vowed to wear only his white, sleeveless undershirt for a full segment on tomorrow morning, if Fields ends up with the Patriots.
So, yes, I’m now rooting for Fields to end up with the Patriots.