The 2021 NFL Draft is less than a month away, and after the San Francisco 49ers moved up to the No. 3 overall pick in a trade with the Miami Dolphins earlier in the week, many expect them to take a rookie quarterback and move on from Jimmy Garoppolo.
What does all of this mean for the New England Patriots?
According to a report from The Athletic, the Patriots — who already re-signed Cam Newton to a one-year deal for 2021 — are intent on moving up in the draft or trading for Garoppolo prior to the start of the season.
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The Athletic reported that the Patriots “already planned to remain aggressive on the quarterback front” entering the draft.
They are “all in” on the 2021 quarterback class, which features the likes of Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones. And now that the 49ers made a big trade to move up to the third pick, the Patriots remain “committed to exhausting their options either by drafting a top prospect or acquiring a veteran,” according to The Athletic.
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If the Patriots have their sights set on one of the top quarterback prospects, they will need to trade up from the No. 15 pick to the fourth-overall selection currently held by the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers gave up two future first-rounders and a 2021 third-rounder to the Dolphins, which means the Patriots’ offer will need to be similar to what San Francisco gave up in order to acquire the draft pick.
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If the Patriots do not move up in the draft, they could be the frontrunner to land Garoppolo, who began his career in New England as Tom Brady’s backup.
The Athletic stated, “If their ideal scenario involved Garoppolo that door might have cracked open a little wider.”