It is anyone's guess where Justin Fields will go in the NFL Draft at this point. The San Francisco 49ers are the first team up, at No. 3, where the plans aren't pretty clear, though Alabama's Mac Jones has been at the center of conversations about that pick. The New England Patriots aren't up until No. 15, but clearly they have the Ohio State quarterback in their sights.
Fields' last Pro Day—a very impressive outing—went head to head with Jones' at Alabama, splitting the attention of many of the teams that could take a quarterback in the top 10 picks. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was among those in Tuscaloosa.
Today, Fields will perform again, and the Patriots will have a large contingent there. It doesn't look like Belichick is among the three representatives from the team that will be in Columbus, but one of his main lieutenants, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, will be there according to Albert Breer.
He's set to be joined by director of player personnel Dave Ziegler and the team's national scout Matt Groh in Columbus today. No. 15 might be late for Fields, though we've seen quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers take big falls because of team need in the past. With the Carolina Panthers—another team that was connected to quarterbacks in the draft—recently trading for Sam Darnold, it may open the doors for the Patriots to have a guy like Fields fall to them, or make a trade up more plausible.
The New England Patriots re-signed Cam Newton after a very shaky first season in Foxborough. His salary is largely incentive-based, and certainly doesn't preclude the team from adding another quarterback through the draft. Justin Fields was extremely impressive during his first pro day outing, running a 4.43 40-yard dash and putting together a throwing exhibition that certainly stands up to the other top quarterback prospects. Wherever he goes, it seems likely that a team will be willing to make him their "quarterback of the future" in a few weeks. The 2021 NFL Draft begins on April 29. [
Ohio State QB Justin Fields’ second pro day is today and the Patriots are bringing the cavalry—OC Josh McDaniels, ass’t dir. of player personnel Dave Ziegler and nat’l scout Matt Groh are expected in Columbus.
Pats had exec Eliot Wolf and an area scout at Fields’ first pro day.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 14, 2021