Why Ex-NFL Exec Doesn’t Believe Patriots Will Trade Up For Justin Fields

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The Patriots are betting favorites to land Justin Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft, according to NESN’s own Sam Panayotovich, but former NFL executive Michael Lombardi can’t see New England trading up for the Ohio State quarterback.

Lombardi, who worked for New England from 2014 to 2016 and with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick from 1991 to 1995 with the Cleveland Browns, explained why Wednesday on VSiN.

“I don’t think New England’s trading up to get Justin Fields,” Lombardi said on VSiN. “I don’t see that. If you watch his throwing motion and you watch Tom Brady throw, they’re two different throwing motions. I don’t think they’re ever merging together.”

Perhaps if Fields falls to the Patriots at No. 15 overall, they would be more willing to grab the Buckeyes QB.

Fields, along with Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU’s Zach Wilson, Alabama’s Mac Jones and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, is considered a top quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. All five quarterbacks are expected to be selected in the first round Thursday night.

Lombardi and his guest, NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein, went on to say Fields might be more well-regarded with the media than NFL teams. Zierlein said he has the Patriots trading up for Lance in his latest mock draft.

If the Patriots can’t land one of the top five quarterbacks in the draft, they could still trade for Jimmy Garoppolo or take a lower-ranked rookie quarterback later in the weekend.

Lawrence is expected to be the Jacksonville Jaguars’ No. 1 overall pick. The Jets are expected to take Wilson at No. 2 overall. Some intrigue begins with the San Francisco 49ers at No. 3, where they’re reportedly deciding between Jones and Lance.