3. Drake Maye
If things really go south down the stretch, the Patriots may well find themselves with a top-five draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
I don't see things going bad enough that we get a shot at Caleb Williams, but having our choice of the other top QB prospects is certainly realistic.
With what I said earlier about the Patriots not wanting to truly rebuild and what we saw with the Mac Jones selection (he was considered maybe the most pro-read QB in his class, even though he didn't have the highest ceiling), New England may not want to go with a boom-or-bust QB project. But sometimes the upside available is so high that you have to compromise and roll with someone who's a little raw.
North Carolina's Drake Maye is good enough to be worth that gamble. He's the prototype of the modern quarterback, who is a legitimate threat rushing the football, but who you can't simply label a "mobile quarterback."
He threw for 38 touchdowns for the Tar Heels in his first season as a starter in 2022, and he’s made strides by improving his completion percentage to 72.1% and his yards per attempt to 9.1 so far in 2023.
He doesn't protect the ball as well as you'd like to see, but you're always going to make some compromises with rookies.
The other factory that could bring Maye to New England? At this point it's no guarantee that Belichick is calling the shots by the end of the season. And a fresh face may be a lot more willing to roll the dice on a raw prospect (especially one with potential turnover issues) than we've become accustomed to for the Patriots over the years.