Patriots deal for Justin Fields in one of five first-round trades

Quarterbacks will once again be the story of the NFL draft in 2024, but it won’t just be the prospects coming into the league making all the headlines. I expect two veteran signal-callers — Justin Fields and Russell Wilson — to be on the move, which will significantly impact the league’s Annual Selection Meeting.

In my three-round mock draft, I project the Bears will decide to move on from Fields and select USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the first overall pick. In my forecast, the Bears send Fields to New England. The Patriots would swap first-round selections with Chicago this year and also give up a 2024 fourth-round pick and a conditional 2025 pick in the deal, similar to the trade between the Packers and Jets for Aaron Rodgers last year. I’m also projecting the Broncos will part with Wilson before next season, with Atlanta signing the veteran after his release. The contract extension signed by Wilson before the 2022 season will likely prevent a trade, and he also has a no-trade clause in that deal.

Throw in five soon-to-be rookies finding new homes in the top 33 selections, and you have a quarterback carousel that would draw crowds at Coney Island.

There are seven compensatory picks projected at the end of the third round of this mock. The first four are awarded to teams for losing 2023 free agents, as projected by Over the Cap. The final three reflect the projected compensation gained from teams hiring minority candidates away from the Rams, 49ers and Buccaneers for head coach/general manager openings.

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