Patriots fans have grown accustomed to anticlimactic and disappointing results on Draft Day, as Bill Belichick and company often traded out of Round 1 or used their top pick on an unflashy position.

But Belichick now is out of the picture in New England, and the new regime might immediately make its mark on the franchise with an exciting draft selection.

In a column published Wednesday, The Athletic explored the trade market for Justin Fields, who might not have a future with the Bears since Chicago has an opportunity to grab top quarterback prospect Caleb Williams. The Patriots were among the teams considered as a landing spot for Fields, but in breaking down the hypothetical, Chad Graff included a nugget about New England’s draft plans.

“The Patriots are exploring all options for upgrading their quarterback situation, even if the most likely avenue means using the No. 3 pick on the position,” Graff wrote.

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With Williams likely bound for the Windy City, New England will have a chance to draft either Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels depending on what the Washington Commanders do at No. 2. It’s unclear how the Patriots feel about either signal-caller prospect, although both surely have strong admirers across the league. This puts New England in a prime position to trade the pick, which Mayo and company reportedly are “open” to doing.

But the Patriots must stabilize the situation behind center, and they haven’t picked this high in the draft in three decades. Grabbing a QB, as Graff and others expect, should be New England’s move once its number is called in late April.

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