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3 Teams That Should Trade Up for Justin Fields in 2021 NFL Draft

Max Staley
One of these three teams could trade up for Justin Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft.
One of these three teams could trade up for Justin Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft. / Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence looking like a lock to come off the board at No. 1 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, Ohio State's Justin Fields has pretty much become the consensus No. 2 QB in the class. However, his grasp on that position is not as firm as one might think.

BYU QB Zach Wilson has been shooting up draft boards recently, and it wouldn't be a shock to see him picked ahead of Fields. Plus, New York Jets' GM Joe Douglas could always elect to build around Sam Darnold by trading down, or staying firm at No. 2 and addressing tackle or wide receiver.

With Fields no longer looking like a lock to go No. 2 after yet another shaky performance against strong competition, things could get wild. Here are three teams that should consider trading up for Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft.

3. Carolina Panthers (No. 8)

The Carolina Panthers are quietly one of the most intriguing young teams in the league. Defensively, they surpassed all expectations by fielding a league-average scoring defense (No. 18). And that group should only get better as time goes on, with burgeoning stars like Brian Burns, Derrick Brown and Jeremy Chinn all being 22 years old. Offensively, this skill-position group is both loaded and young, featuring studs like Christian McCaffrey (24), Robby Anderson (27) and D.J. Moore (23). It feels like this team is just a young, talented quarterback away from being truly dangerous. Fields certainly fits the bill. Teddy Bridgewater doesn't look like much more than a stop-gap option at this point, and Fields would immediately raise the Panthers' ceiling.

2. Denver Broncos (No. 9)

The Denver Broncos find themselves in a pretty similar situation. The receiving corps is loaded with emerging young studs, like Courtland Sutton (25), Jerry Jeudy (21), Noah Fant (23) and KJ Hamler (21). But after a shaky 2020 campaign, it's fair to question if Drew Lock is the right QB to lead this team going forward. Fields was the much more highly-touted prospect of the two when they were coming out, and he'd be the most talented passer Denver has had since Peyton Manning. John Elway and the front office have been searching for Manning's successor since 2015, and Fields could very well be the answer. It'd likely cost a war chest of assets, but no price is too high for a true franchise QB.

1. San Francisco 49ers (No. 12)

Assuming they move on from Jimmy Garoppolo, the San Francisco 49ers are the dream destination for any young passer. This is a Super Bowl-caliber roster that also has QB guru Kyle Shanahan leading the way. We've never really seen Shanahan get to develop a prospect as talented as Fields, and the 49ers are unlikely to be picking this high again in the near future. It's a unique circumstance for San Francisco, and the organization needs to capitalize by coming out of the offseason with a definitive plan at QB, no matter the cost. Trading up from No. 12 will be expensive, but putting a prospect of Fields' caliber into Shanahan's system could make the 49ers a Super Bowl contender for years to come.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.