3 ideal New England Patriots trade scenarios in the 2021 NFL Draft

It’s not a secret that the New England Patriots are still attempting to settle their quarterback situation leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft.

New England re-signed Cam Newton earlier in the offseason, but he’s seen as nothing more than a potential backup or stopgap option after struggling a season ago.

Meanwhile, the Pats have been linked to former Tom Brady backup Jimmy Garoppolo in a potential trade with the San Francisco 49ers. Depending on what direction the 49ers go with the third pick, Garoppolo could be a draft day trade option for Bill Belichick and Co.

All the while, rumors are now floating about that the Patriots are attempting to trade up from 15th overall to inside the top 10 for one of the quarterbacks deemed to be franchise-caliber. Right now, the target is said to be former Ohio State star Justin Fields. Below, we look at three ideal trade scenarios for the New England Patriots during the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft.

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New England Patriots trade up with the Atlanta Falcons

New England Patriots trade for Justin Fields
Jan 1, 2021; New Orleans, LA, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields (1) attempts a pass against the Clemson Tigers during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
  • Details: Patriots move 15th pick, 2021 second-round pick, 2022 first-round pick and 2023 second-round pick to the Falcons

This would be the most obvious avenue for the Patriots to pursue if Fields is indeed the target. The most-recent indications coming from Northern California are that the San Francisco 49ers are going to choose between Mac Jones and Trey Lance at three. With Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson going off the board at one and two, respectively, Fields could fall right to the Patriots.

The one issue here is just how out of whack the trade market is. San Francisco traded away two future first-round picks and a 2022 third-rounder to move up from the 12th pick to third overall with the Miami Dolphins. An argument could be made that the Falcons would demand the same bounty, if not more, in a trade down with New England.

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New England Patriots trade for Jimmy Garoppolo

New England Patriots trade for Jimmy Garoppolo
Jan 19, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo celebrates after defeating the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
  • Details: Patriots send second-round pick in 2021 and third-round pick in 2022 to the 49ers

Rumors continue to persist in the Patriots’ being interested in bringing Jimmy Garoppolo back. Said rumors were taken to a whole new level when San Francisco moved up to the third pick. Initial indications were that the 49ers might have been demanding a first-round pick in exchange for the Super Bowl quarterback. That’s now died down some with the draft approaching.

All of this is dependent on what the 49ers do at three. If they select a more pro-ready Mac Jones over the aforementioned Trey Lance, Garoppolo could be on the move. Should that happen, the Patriots would have to come calling. It would be a cheaper alternative to moving up into the top five with Garoppolo acting as a marked upgrade over Newton.

Read More: New England Patriots mock draft: Seven-round predictions with trades

New England Patriots trade down for a quarterback

2021 NFL Draft: Kellen Mond
Oct 3, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond (11) warms up at Bryant-Denny Stadium before the game with Alabama. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports
  • Details: Patriots move 15th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to the Baltimore Ravens for 27th and 31st picks

Two conference rivals pulling off a blockbuster trade? It seems unlikely. That’s until we realize Baltimore just dealt Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to the Kansas City Chiefs for a plethora of picks that includes the 31st overall selection. This puts Baltimore in a prime position to trade up for a wide receiver with Devonta Smith from Alabama being the potential target.

In return, the Pats add a second Day 1 selection to use on a quarterback. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has been in contact with Texas A&M product Kellen Mond, who is getting some first-round play leading up to the draft. Perhaps, Florida’s Kyle Trask could be the target here, too.