It was easy to get spoiled, wasn't it? For almost two decades, the New England Patriots had Tom Brady behind center. This meant a number of things.
For one, the Patriots were going to have a chance to win every game and the Super Bowl every season. Brady won six in his time with the Patriots. Brady won three MVPs. Between 2001, when Brady became the full-time starter, and 2019, New England missed the playoffs just twice, and one of those seasons (2008), Brady was hurt early in the year and played only part of one game.
The Patriots getting another Tom Brady - or any NFL team getting another Brady - is extremely unlikely, but because New England is having an unsuccessful season and because the team has at least $75 million in cap room for the offseason, New England will have every chance to improve its current quarterback situation. Here are five players who could be QB1 in 2024.
No. 1 - New England Patriots could potentially draft Caleb Williams
Let's go ahead and probably start with the most ideal QB1 for 2024. How the Patriots finish out their regular season and what surprises happen at the top of the 2024 NFL Draft will determine if New England can take Caleb Williams, of course. After a surprise victory in Week 14, the Patriots might have a tough time winning any of their remaining four games as they play the Chiefs, Broncos, Bills, and Jets in succession. The Patriots could - possibly should - finish 2023 3-17.
This would mean the team has at least the second pick in the draft. We can assume that the Carolina Panthers are going to have the worst record, but they traded their first-round choice to the Chicago Bears, so the Bears have a huge question about whether they want to move on from Justin Fields or not. If not, the Patriots should have their pick of quarterback in the draft.
Two quarterbacks currently appear to be at the top of the 2024 draft class among players at their position. Those two QBs are Williams and Drake Maye. Maye, though, was a bit inconsistent this year, while Williams basically put up the same kind of numbers he did in his Heisman Trophy-winning season of 2022. Plus, Williams has one talent that coach Bill Belichick will love: he does not turn the ball over.
Williams has a total of 14 interceptions in 1,099 career college attempts. His quarterback rating was a bit higher in 2023 than in 2022, and his average yards per attempt (10.3) was the same as in 2022. He only threw 30 touchdown passes versus 42 in 2022, but he also passed the ball 112 fewer times. The USC product has elite arm talent, excellent pocket awareness, and is extremely mobile. He would be QB1 to begin his career in New England.