Phil Perry

Perry's 2024 Mock Draft 2.0: Pats trade for Fields, add stud WR and OT

The Patriots can completely overhaul their offense by making three bold trades.

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We warned you last week that we were going to get creative with our mock drafts this year. And it didn't take long for us to get a little weird.

In our first mock of the year, we gave you what we thought could happen come the end of April. This week, we'll provide you with what admittedly seems to be a less likely scenario. But it's intriguing as all get-out.

Why? We're going to take a stab at how things could shake out if the Patriots aren't sold on any of the top-three quarterbacks in this class. Or even if they are believers in one of Caleb Williams, Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels, perhaps they don't believe their roster is set up well enough around that position to nurture a young passer.

In any event, picture this: The Patriots don't want a quarterback at No. 3.

If that's the case, that could lead to some wheeling and dealing. And that wheeling and dealing could actually start before draft weekend, with the Patriots trading their third-round pick to the Bears for quarterback Justin Fields.

You can hear more about my reasoning on why Fields makes sense for New England -- as long as the Patriots aren't sold on Williams, Maye or Daniels -- right here. But, in short, he would be a bridge quarterback with some upside. He would be the kind of player who'd help you navigate what could be a difficult 2024 with a shuffled offensive line and a playmaker group loaded with question marks. He has the athleticism and arm to create out of structure for a first-time offensive coordinator, too.

Settling on the third-round value for Fields is based on some reporting done by Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. If it costs more than that in reality, the Patriots would have to reconsider.

But by holding onto No. 3 overall and No. 43 overall while giving up No. 68 for Fields is far from prohibitive. Those first- and second-round picks can help surround Fields with offensive talent. And if it's clear Fields isn't the guy after giving him the offensive keys for 2024, then the Patriots can feel good about dipping back into the quarterback market in the 2025 draft, knowing it cost them only a third-rounder to experiment with a high-upside player at the game's most important position.

OK. Without further ado, let's dive into this mock with the understanding that the Patriots have already given up No. 68 overall for Fields' services.

TRADE: New England Patriots and Chicago Bears

  • Patriots receive: Bears quarterback Justin Fields
  • Bears receive: No. 68 pick

1. Chicago Bears (via Panthers): Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Williams is starting to take some slings and arrows. When he interviews with teams, he'll have a chance to convince them he's not that guy. If he can convince the Bears, his talent certainly makes him worthy of this choice.

2. Washington Commanders: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

New owner Josh Harris is going to have a hard time passing on the value Jayden Daniels provides with his arm and his legs.

TRADE: New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons

  • Falcons receive: No. 3 pick
  • Patriots receive: No. 8 pick, No. 43 pick and Falcons' 2025 first-round pick

3. Atlanta Falcons (via Patriots): Drake Maye, QB, UNC

There are evaluators who believe there isn't necessarily a chasm between Williams and Maye in this draft class. Atlanta would need to be thinking along those lines to give up a haul of draft capital -- and this trade is realistic based on the old Jimmy Johnson trade chart -- to take their next face of the franchise for new head coach Raheem Morris (not to mention desperate-to-win owner Arthur Blank).

4. Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

The Cardinals seem set on sticking with Kyler Murray, so it makes all the sense in the world to get him the draft's best offensive weapon.

5. Los Angeles Chargers: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

One of the best playmakers in this year's draft class, Bowers feels like a Jim Harbaugh kind of guy. Athletic enough to be a security blanket for Harbaugh's young quarterback Justin Herbert. Tough enough to block in Harbaugh's running game.

6. New York Giants: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Stop me if you've heard this before: Daniel Jones could use a few weapons. Nabers is perhaps the most explosive wideout in this year's draft class.

7. Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

Coming from Cincinnati, new head coach Brian Callahan knows how things can go sideways quickly when a quarterback gets banged up. The Titans still may be looking for a quarterback, but by adding Alt, they're investing in their future passer's protection with the best tackle in the class.

8. New England Patriots (via Falcons): Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Odunze racked up nearly 2,800 yards with 20 touchdowns over his final two seasons at Washington.

Odunze isn't Marvin Harrison Jr. But he isn't all that far off from the consensus No. 1 receiver in the class.

He has enough size (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) and athleticism to play on the boundary. He has the route-running ability to separate, and he possesses extremely dependable hands. He has the physicality and want-to to play in the slot if the Patriots wanted to take advantage of his size inside.

This would be a home run selection for a team that has been bereft of high-end receiving talent in recent years. NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah has written that Odunze's well-rounded game reminds him of Larry Fitzgerald when the Hall of Fame wideout was coming out of Pitt.

Yeah. Jerod Mayo and new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will take that.

🔊 Patriots Talk: Rapid reaction to Patriots hiring Alex Van Pelt as their new offensive coordinator | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

9. Chicago Bears: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Turner is the first defensive player off the board, as Chicago lands the top pass rusher in this year's class. Great value here.

10. New York Jets: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Fuaga may be a right-tackle-only type. But he's a physical specimen with a nasty demeanor. He's made himself some money with his performance at this week's Senior Bowl practices, and being a top-10 selection isn't totally out of the question.

11. Minnesota Vikings: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

The Vikings defense thrived off of creating pressure for opposing quarterbacks in 2023. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores loves cooking up exotic blitzes to spook passers, but he might not have to with Verse's ability to beat tackles one-on-one.

12. Denver Broncos: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Speed. Effort. Technique. It would come as little surprise if Latu went higher than this based on his ability, but he has an injury history that could hurt his draft stock.

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Olu Fashanu, OL, Penn State

Once considered to be a top-of-the-draft type of talent at a premium position, Fashanu took a step back in 2023. Still, his traits are too tantalizing to pass up for a tackle-needy team like Las Vegas.

14. New Orleans Saints: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Just a behemoth human being at 6-foot-6 and a projected 360 pounds, Latham has the strength and power to swallow up pass-rushers. And quickly.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

If the Colts want Anthony Richardson to thrive in his second season, coming off injury, getting him weapons should be a priority. Thomas has the size and speed to shake things up for a team that could lose Michael Pittman Jr. to free agency.

TRADE: Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots

  • Patriots receive: No. 16 pick
  • Seahawks receive: No. 34 pick and No. 43 pick

16. New England Patriots (via Seahawks): Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Tyler Guyton had a strong week of practices at the Senior Bowl that should boost his draft stock.

This may be a lot of draft capital -- two second-rounders -- to give up for a player who has 15 total starts over four years with the Sooners and TCU. But Guyton is so physically gifted, the Patriots may be willing to look past his relative inexperience. And one of the picks given up in this trade was acquired from the Falcons in the trade down from No. 3.

Guyton performed at the Senior Bowl this week and showed good movement skills to go along with his block-out-the-sun 6-foot-7, 328-pound frame. The former tight end is a rare athlete, and if he gets the right coaching at the next level, he has the tools to be able to improve against stronger edge rushers.

For a team like the Patriots that is looking for a cornerstone left tackle -- and assuming they're going to make a real effort to re-sign right tackle Mike Onwenu -- Guyton could be their long-term answer at the position. They haven't had one since Nate Solder, who left the team in 2017.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Mitchell's strength and acceleration wowed down in Mobile this week. He might end up being the top corner taken in this year's draft.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

What better gift to give a pocket passer in need of protection? How about a burly tackle prospect who checks in at 6-foot-7, 340 pounds? Mimis only has eight career college starts, but he has the tools to be a long-term starter.

19. Los Angeles Rams: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Sean McVay can throw DeJean wherever he wants him in the Rams secondary thanks to his size (6-foot-1, 205 pounds), ball skills and physicality. He'll also have real special-teams value wherever he lands.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

McCarthy doesn't have nearly the passing reps under his belt that Bo Nix does, but he has traits a quarterback-needy team like the Steelers could covet. He has enough size (6-foot-3) and arm strength to cut the ball through the conditions in Pittsburgh. 

21. Miami Dolphins: Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

The Dolphins could use a little more grit on their line in order to keep Tua Tagovailoa upright. It's been a methodical process trying to get that unit solved, and this bully from Washington would be part of the solution. 

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Wiggins has excellent length (6-foot-2) and speed, and there's an argument to be made that he's deserving of being the first corner off the board. In this scenario, he's second. And the Eagles are thrilled.

23. Houston Texans (via Cleveland Browns): Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

The Texans could be in the offensive-player market here to build around their young star quarterback. But it might be hard for them to pass on Arnold here, throwing him opposite former top-five pick Derek Stingley Jr.

24. Dallas Cowboys: Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona

Premium positions continue to fly off the board. Good year to need a tackle with NFL-caliber athletic traits. Morgan tore his ACL late in the 2022 season, so by the time he gets to the league, he could be considerably more comfortable in his movements than he was last season, when he less than a year removed from his injury for the Wildcats.

25. Green Bay Packers: Darius Robinson, DL, Missouri

Can't go wrong taking a defensive lineman with rare traits in the top 25. Green Bay has loaded up on first-rounders for their front-seven and Robinson could be a staple for that group for the foreseeable future.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

Coleman's size and athleticism make him a logical succession plan for Mike Evans should the veteran choose to go elsewhere as a free agent this offseason. 

27. Arizona Cardinals (via Houston Texans): Jackson Powers-Johnson, OL, Oregon

Powers-Johnson was among the best players at this year's Senior Bowl, impressing both in the one-on-one and team periods. Kyler Murray gets himself a little more protection with this addition.

28. Buffalo Bills: T'Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas

No one in this year's postseason has allowed more yards per carry than the Bills (5.4). They were 28th in that category in the regular season (4.6). Sweat is a 6-foot-4, 362-pound immovable run-stuffer.

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Mitchell may be too much of a project for the Chiefs to want to take him this highly. But they need all the receiving help they can find, and Mitchell (6-foot-4, 196 pounds) has intriguing physical gifts.

30. Detroit Lions: Devontez Walker, WR, UNC

With speed to burn and enough size to win on jump balls (6-foot-2, 200 pounds), Walker looks like a legit boundary receiving prospect. He might not be a dynamic after-the-catch player, but his catch radius could make Jared Goff forget about the Josh Reynolds drops that burned him in the NFC title game. 

31. San Francisco 49ers: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

McKinstry might not have the same level of speed as Clemson's Nate Wiggins, but he's considered a high-IQ cover man and he's aggressive at the catch point.

32. Baltimore Ravens: Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

Baltimore defensive tackle Justin Madubuike just had a ridiculously-productive season (13 sacks, 33 quarterback hits) and is headed into free agency for the Ravens. If they lose him, they may need a quick and violent interior pass-rusher to fill the void. Newton has explosive power to get off the ball and under the pads of offensive linemen in any situation.

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