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NFL draft rumors: Mel Kiper Jr. would be ‘really surprised’ if the Patriots did not trade up for a quarterback

Related: Who are the best quarterback fits for the Patriots in the draft?

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

With NFL draft week underway, rumors are only picking up. The New England Patriots are right in the middle of all the speculation, given that they are drafting higher than they have in recent years and are in need for a long-term solution at the quarterback position.

Whether or not they will get it remains to be seen, but one prominent analyst believes New England could make a move come Thursday: Mel Kiper Jr. appeared on ESPN’s Get Up on Monday morning and said that the Patriots not moving up would be a surprise to him.

“You’re in a division with Josh Allen, Tua [Tagovailoa] and now Zach Wilson. ... I think when you look at what they need to do is go up and get Justin Fields. If he’s there at seven the Detroit Lions could be a team looking to move out. If I’m New England I’m not sitting at 15. No quarterback is falling into your lap, you’re not going to be that lucky,” Kiper said.

“I would be very surprised if they weren’t aggressive on draft day and go get that quarterback. If they don’t then they move with Cam Newton in Year 2 with Josh McDaniels, adjusting to life after Tom [Brady], that completely different style of offense, and get it all together. But I would be really surprised — not shocked but really surprised — if New England didn’t move up from 15.”

The Patriots currently own the 15th overall selection in the draft, but with quarterbacks projected to go 1-2-3 might have to invest some assets to get into the range to also get one of the top-five passers this year. Ohio State’s Justin Fields is a popular target, but the same goes for Alabama’s Mac Jones and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance. One or two of them might be available in the late teens and possible targets for New England.