Draft Analysts across the board predicted that the New England Patriots would target trading up in the draft to select a franchise QB. However, with the 49ers announcing that they traded up with the Miami Dolphins to the 3rd pick, New England’s Draft plans may be in jeopardy.
On Friday, the San Francisco 49ers announced a mega draft trade with the Miami Dolphins. The 49ers switched their 12th pick in the draft to move up to 3rd but gave up 2 first-round draft picks in 2022 and 2023 along with a third-round draft pick in 2022. The 49ers essentially gave up their upcoming future to have a chance to draft a QB and this move will have a lot of ripple effects across the league.
Filed to ESPN: Dolphins trading No. 3 overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers for the No. 12 pick, a 2021 third-round pick (SF’s comp pick for Robert Saleh hiring) and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023, per sources.
Blockbuster deal with massive ramifications for years to come. pic.twitter.com/nRLMUaWGo5
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 26, 2021
49ers don’t leak. So, them leaking the Mac Jones “interest” could be a power move targeting the Pats, who like him.
SF holds the cards for Jones/Fields/Lance + have Jimmy (who the Pats want).
Yeah, that would be next-level thinking. But wouldn’t put it past Lynch.
— Vincent Frank (@VincentFrankNFL) March 26, 2021
The chances of the New England Patriots drafting a top tier quarterback got a lot slimmer after yesterday. With New England drafting all the way down in 15th and the very real possibility of 4 out of the 5 predicted first-round draft QB’s going in the first 4 picks, the draft dilemma in New England got a whole lot tenser.
What does the trade mean for New England Patriots?
After shocking the league with a haul of new additions in free agency, the Patriots have put themselves in a prime position to contend in the AFC. But even with QB Cam Newton re-signing, the Patriots still have no long-term solution at the quarterback position under contract.
We know they are actively scouting the projected top-five QB’s— Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, and, a notch below them, Alabama’s Mac Jones — but they may not be in a position to pick one of them unless they move up the board like the 49ers just did.
“That’s the throw of the Pro Day season right now.”
Zach Wilson showing off 🤫
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 26, 2021
But the price just went up significantly to move up in the draft order. The New England Patriots drafting Justin Fields would have been great considering the pre-existing relationship with Cam Newton and the similarities in their game. Fields would be able to develop under Newton’s mentorship while he led a revamped offence in 2021.
Cam Newton and Justin Fields seem really close 👀
Cam would be a great role model for Justin if he were drafted by the Patriots… pic.twitter.com/LkU8HxRMXW
— Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) March 23, 2021
But Fields is projected to go top 5 and that would be a real hefty price to pay.
The 49ers just gave up three firsts and a third-round pick to climb nine spots from No. 12 to No. 3. Coming from No. 15, New England would likely have to give up a similar haul to leapfrog the other teams that are realistically in the quarterback market: the Detroit Lions at No. 7, the Carolina Panthers at No. 8 and the Denver Broncos at No. 9.
To make it to the top 4, the New England Patriots will have to give up a lot of picks, especially with the Atlanta Falcons also rumoured to be interesting in drafting a QB. The top 3 picks now look locked in to draft a QB. So New England’s best shot would be moving up to 4.
Updated 2021 NFL Draft order: picks 1-12:
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 26, 2021
Obviously, using at least three first-round picks to get one player even at the most important position on the field is a gamble. However, if the Patriots do identify their guy and are convinced of his upside within their system, it could very well be worth it.