The Washington Commanders made one of the best personnel decisions in franchise history during the 2012 NFL Draft, and it’s something the New England Patriots might want to take note of.

If that sounds ridiculous to you given the state of both franchises, just bear with us for a moment.

Washington dumped pivotal resources into obtaining the No. 2 overall pick back in 2012, and eventually drafted Robert Griffin III with it. He was awesome as a rookie, but injuries got the better of RGIII and ended his career with the Commanders after just three seasons.

The Commanders would be alright, though, as they took an unconventional route and added Kirk Cousins to their quarterback room just a few rounds later. It served as an insurance policy of sorts, which worked out as Cousins eventually took over as starter once Washington moved on from RGIII — even leading the franchise to a playoff appearance in 2016.

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The Commanders’ inability to keep Cousins happy, which subsequently led to his exit? That’s a story for a different day.

The Patriots could find themselves with an opportunity to do something very similar, and they absolutely should.

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New England is expected to follow a three-step plan that will completely reshape the quarterback room at One Patriot Place. It’s one that would see the Patriots select a QB with the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, sign a veteran free agent to likely start in that rookie’s first season and ship Mac Jones off to… well, anywhere.

That’s all well and good, but what comes next?

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Jacoby Brissett and Joe Flacco have been floated as potential veteran options, but longevity and mobility concerns might limit them to one season with the Patriots. That would leave New England with Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye (in all likelihood) and no backup, or at least not one with a similar skill set to Daniels or Maye.

You might be thinking, ‘Why not keep Bailey Zappe around as the backup?’ We’ve got plenty of reasons not to, and we’ve already touched on them.

It makes all the sense in the world for the Patriots, if they’re serious about one of the top three QBs, to go out and grab another one later in the draft. New England currently has a pair of fairly large gaps in the fourth and fifth rounds, so a trade back might help them fill it in the range to pick up someone with high upside.

Tennessee’s Joe Milton III has one of the strongest arms in the class, and he’ll likely be available on Day 3. Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman and BYU’s Kedon Slovis have tons of collegiate experience and will also be available. Florida State’s Jordan Travis saw an injury derail his pre-draft hype, and will in all likelihood push him to the latter half of the draft. If the Patriots don’t want to wait, South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler is someone they’ve met with multiple times and has extremely high upside.

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If we’re going to be real for a moment, the draft is a crapshoot, so why not take as many throws at the QB dart board as possible? The Patriots have money to spend (not burn), which should allow them to fill some of the many holes on their roster. The current need for a quarterback, multiple tackles, multiple wide receivers and depth for a damn good defense could dissipate by late April. If they don’t, it might not even matter, because the most important position in the sport will still have question marks all over it.

The Patriots, by following the lead of an admittedly goofy franchise, could put those questions to bed for a while.

Featured image via Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports Images