NFL DRAFT

Bedard: Much of the NFL has changed on mobile QBs like Justin Fields, but have the Patriots?

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There's been a lot of chatter about the Patriots and their perceived interest in Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields in the last few weeks.

With hoped-upon holy trinity of 2021 NFL draft QBs — Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Mac Jones (if the 49ers are set on him, some feel that might not be true) — set to go 1-2-3 in the draft later this month, and the Patriots without anything close to a long-term (or near-term) solution at quarterback, everyone and anyone wants to link the Patriots to Fields. Mock drafts have the Patriots trading up to get Fields. Some think he might be there at 15. Others think Josh McDaniels' presence at Fields' second pro day today in Columbus, Ohio is some sort of big indicator (more on that in a minute).

I get it. There are a variety of ways to connect Fields to the Patriots, not the least of which is the Patriots don't have a quarterback and Fields is the closest to being ready for the big time behind the trio after playing for the Buckeyes. He isn't as much of a project as Trey Lance. The Patriots have had interest in mobile quarterbacks before (Lamar Jackson), and Fields would pair well as a Cam Newton understudy for a year.

Did I mention the Patriots don't have a quarterback, especially after spending an obscene amount of money to overhaul a decrepit roster?

I understand the reasons and the need, especially in this dead period before draft week, to make news discussing the-always-popular Partiots and any quarterbacks. And the Patriots are definitely studying Fields, absolutely.

But for the Patriots to draft Fields at 15 — forget about trading up — they would need to, as an organization, completely evolve in terms of how they view the quarterback position. And it's not just what Mike Lombardi said last week, although that's part of it.

It also, partly, has to do with the Eagles, Howie Roseman, Russell Wilson and Jalen Hurts.