Patriots have clear path back if NFL’s dumb enough to let them get Justin Fields

Ohio State QB Justin Fields (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Ohio State QB Justin Fields (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The NFL Draft is just two days away, and most fans would agree that the annual event starts with the 49ers, who own the third overall pick.

That, of course, is assuming the likes of Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson go one and two to the Jets and Jaguars, like reports suggest.

While it remains to be seen what the 49ers plans are, the latest buzz suggests they’ve narrowed down their list of potential selections to Mac Jones and Trey Lance, leaving burning questions regarding where Justin Fields could end up falling.

The New England Patriots have been pegged as a destination for Fields, whose stock has taken a hit over the last few months. It’s unclear what it could cost them to be to trade up, but recent reports claim they’ve made calls about moving inside the top seven or eight.

Though it isn’t guaranteed that Fields falls to the Patriots, it goes without saying that such a scenario would give them a clear path back to sovereignty.

In other words, fans should be hoping that the NFL is dumb enough to let them get their hands on the Ohio State star.

Is the NFL actually dumb enough to let the Patriots draft Justin Fields?

The NFL should honestly know better by now than to give Bill Belichick a sliver of hope when it comes to finding a gem in the draft. While the de facto general manager has had his fair share of swings and misses in recent years, he’s still a master manipulator on the trade front.

Could you imagine what the Patriots would look like with Fields on a rookie contract? Assuming they continue handing out short-term contracts, they could absolutely stack the roster to the brim in free agency once the salary cap skyrockets when the new television deals come into play.

The former Buckeye has a long way to go in his development, but you could argue he has as high a ceiling as any quarterback in this year’s class. Let’s not forget this is the same prospect who has been regularly compared to Lawrence since they were teenagers.

At this point last season, Fields was a lock to go No. 2 overall. Now, with draft night fast approaching, analysts and scouts are holding his inconsistent junior year and the stigma surrounding Ohio State quarterbacks — who rarely pan out in the NFL — against him.

By the way, if completing 70.2% of your passes for 2,100 yards and 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions while playing an unforgiving schedule and leading your team to the National Championship Game is considered an inconsistent year, what’s considered good? Should’ve stayed at Georgia, we guess.

Assuming Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels — along with the organization’s other offensive gurus — are able to help Fields refine some of his mechanics and accelerate his decision-making process, we’d be looking at the undisputed steal of the draft.

If Patriots fans thought Belichick pushed the envelope to bolster the roster this offseason, just imagine the magic he could work with Fields on a rookie contract for the next handful of years. In the simplest of terms, they’d be poised for success for the foreseeable future.