The New England Patriots may very well be in the market for a quarterback when the NFL Draft begins next week. We've seen tons of speculation around Ohio State's Justin Fields and Alabama's Mac Jones, but Trey Lance is also expected to go in or around the Top 10.
The North Dakota State quarterback is the wild card of the class. He put in a near-perfect 2019 season, but with the FCS moving most games to the spring, he played in just one showcase last fall. Most of the other quarterbacks have a fair deal of more experience, but his combination of accuracy and athleticism is rare.
The New England Patriots are currently slated to pick at No. 15 in the first round. There are a number of teams that could be candidates to trade back, which is good news for the teams that are eyeing those big quarterbacks.
In a new mock draft for CBS Sports, Josh Edwards proposed a big trade up for Bill Belichick and company. He has New England jumping up to No. 7—the Detroit Lions' spot—to take Lance as the fifth quarterback off the board. His mock certainly delivers on the promise of fireworks for this year's draft.
"New England sacrifices a future first-round pick and No. 15 overall to move up to No. 7 overall," Edwards writes. "With the pick, the Patriots take Trey Lance to lead an overhauled roster."
In this scenario, the Patriots are the second team in a row to jump up and grab a quarterback. After the penciled in picks of Trevor Lawrence to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Zach Wilson to the New York Jets, he tabs Mac Jones to the San Francisco 49ers. After two non-QBs, he has the Denver Broncos leaping up from No. 9 to 6—currently owned by the Miami Dolphins after a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles—to take Justin Fields.
The New England Patriots re-signed Cam Newton to a very team-friendly, incentive-laden one year deal. That may work out for the team in this situation, as Lance might not be ready to play on Day 1, but he'd be a very intriguing quarterback of the future and true heir apparent to Tom Brady. There is at least some interest in him as well, as New England was present for his pro day earlier this month.
The 2021 NFL Draft kicks off on April 29.