Next Pats: Live 2021 NFL mock draft of the first round

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Next Pats: Live NFL mock draft of the first round originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

With the 2021 NFL Draft less than one month away, it's anyone's guess as to what the New England Patriots will do with their 15th overall selection.

The quarterback position needs to be addressed one way or another, but will any of the top-tier options be available at No. 15? Is it worth trading up in the draft to take Ohio State's Justin Fields, or should the Patriots work out a deal to get Jimmy Garoppolo from the San Francisco 49ers? If they decide to pass on a QB in the first round, which position will they focus on?

Phil Perry, Tom E. Curran, and DJ Bean attempted to get inside the mind of Bill Belichick -- and GMs across the NFL -- in a brand new episode of the Next Pats Podcast. The trio conducted a mock draft of the first round and got some rather interesting results.

Next Pats Podcast: Live NFL Mock Draft! Patriots get more explosive with a surprise trade | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

In the mock, the Pats indeed tried to move up to No. 4 but were outbid by the Denver Broncos.

"You are the Atlanta Falcons, I am Bill Belichick," Perry told Curran. "I'm calling you and I am offering No. 15 overall, my 2022 first, my 2023 first, and this year's third-round pick No. 96 overall to see if I can get from No. 15 to No. 4, because I really like Justin Fields."

Curran (aka the Falcons) initially accepted the Patriots' offer, but the Broncos came calling with the No. 9 overall pick, their 2022 first, and their 2023 first. That was enough to move up to overtake New England and steal Fields.

Bummer.

So if the Patriots missed out on their preferred QB, which direction did they go in with the 15th overall pick? How about an edge rusher?

"Kwity Paye (Michigan defensive end) is the one name that kind of stands out as a real elite talent on the edge. He comes from a program that I love, that I trust. I know I'm getting a quality guy, getting a quality human being, but I'm also getting a rare specimen athletically on the edge, a cornerstone position. That's the guy I'm really kind of locked in on right now."

Check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube below: