For a franchise that had gotten used to picking at the tail end of the first round, this feels like unfamiliar and disgusting territory. But, it's reality.
One of the team's biggest problems this season has been at quarterback. Mac Jones hasn't been good. Bailey Zappe relieved Jones once again this past week, late in the game, and this has become a familiar move by Belichick over the past two seasons.
Looking ahead, what will the Patriots do at quarterback next season? They will probably have a lot of intriguing options, so let's look at 10 of them.
1. Mac Jones
God forbid the Patriots don't make any real changes yet and Mac Jones returns as the team's starter in 2024. Maybe, the big change comes at head coach and offensive coordinator. The team could give Jones one last shot with "the right leadership" in place.
We know that's not what fans want, but it's a possibility.
2. Bailey Zappe
This isn't a decision fans would love, but Bailey Zappe could definitely be back next year. If the Patriots managed to win a couple more games this season and fall out of the top five picks, maybe they don't wind up with a top quarterback prospect in the draft. Whether or not they draft one a bit later, Zappe could be the bridge quarterback.