If the New England Patriots are 1-4 bad under third-year starting quarterback Mac Jones, just imagine how utterly atrocious they might be if the pivoted off to someone else mid-season. That may be what is in the cards in Foxborough, unfortunately, as Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal reported that if Jones struggles this week, New England may go with ... Will Grier the rest of the way.
The former West Virginia star is one of three quarterbacks on the Patriots roster, along with Jones and second-year pro Bailey Zappe out of Western Kentucky. The thought was that Zappe might get some more run if Jones should continue to falter. However, for the notion of it being Grier over them certainly speaks volumes. Regardless, the Patriots find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
While the Patriots have a winnable game on Sunday, it is on the road vs. their former offensive coordinator's team in Josh McDaniels' Las Vegas Raiders. It is always weird when the Silver and Black take on the Pats anyway, so get ready for that. What is hard to get past here is two Bills don't make a right, as Bill Belichick hiring Bill O'Brien away from Jones' alma mater of Alabama has not worked out.
Let's be real. The sooner the Patriots pivot off Jones to either Grier or Zappe, the likelier we will be seeing New England drafting Jones' replacement inside the top 10 of the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.
What we are seeing in New England is an ever-present reminder that nothing gold can stay, brother.
NFL rumors: Patriots might move on from Mac Jones in favor of Will Grier
Saddled at a dreadful 1-4, the Patriots would be picking fifth in the NFL Draft if the season ended today. In theory, there are two quarterbacks worthy of going inside the top five next spring in USC's Caleb Williams and North Carolina's Drake Maye. Williams is a lock to go No. 1, which would be to the Chicago Bears by way of the Carolina Panthers trade. Maye likely goes No. 3 to the Denver Broncos.
So if you are the Patriots at No. 5, what do you do? They have not had an opportunity to draft a blue-chipper coming out at the quarterback position since Drew Bledsoe out of Washington State way back in 1993. Getting Maye would be best-case scenario, but the Patriots will need to bottom out first. After that, you are looking at someone like a Bo Nix, a Michael Penix Jr. or even a J.J. McCarthy.
Frankly, if the Patriots were to be this bad, or improve ever so slightly with Grier starting games for them, QB3 in the 2024 NFL Draft probably comes off the board around No. 12, all things considered. The position itself may cause a good, but not great quarterback prospect to go a few spots higher than that, but no doubt about it, the Patriots will be in a good spot to add a better quarterback option.
For now, prepare yourselves for the worst Patriots season since Pete Carroll was their head coach.