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NFL draft rumors: Patriots are ‘really high’ on Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields

Related: The Scho Show: What will the Patriots do if they can’t draft a top-five quarterback?

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Ohio State vs Alabama Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots were the most aggressive team in the NFL during the early portions of free agency, but they still have one major question mark on their roster: the quarterback position is still open. Despite Cam Newton being re-signed to a one-year deal, a long-term solution at the most important spot on the field does still not appear to be on the roster.

The Patriots are therefore expected to continue their aggressiveness come the draft — a belief shared by NFL Network analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks. During the latest episode of their Move the Sticks podcast the two also touched on New England’s search for a new franchise quarterback.

“I think the New England Patriots could be real aggressive. We’ve seen the New England Patriots step outside their comfort zone as it relates to free agency. We saw them completely rebuild the roster with the number of signings and free agency,” said Brooks. “I believe they’re about to go all in on an offensive makeover. The young quarterback is the final piece to the puzzle. And I think that quarterback will be an athletic quarterback.”

Jeremiah shared a similar point of view, naming two projected first-round passers who might be on New England’s radar come April.

“I keep an eye on somebody like Trey Lance or Justin Fields,” said Jeremiah. “Those are the two that would make sense for them to target. I hear a lot of rumors out there that they are really high on Justin Fields out of Ohio State. So, they’d have to [trade up] quite a ways to get Justin Fields.”

Fields and North Dakota State quarterback Lance are among the consensus top-four passers available, alongside projected number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) and BYU’s Zach Wilson. Anything but the Ohio State QB coming off the board within first five selections next month would be a surprise given that Fields is a prototypical dual-threat passer capable of making plays with his arm and his legs.

The Patriots, who own the 15h overall selection, would therefore have to move up the board in order to position themselves to select him.