Before the start of the season, the New England Patriots had three quarterbacks on their roster. Aside from veteran Tom Brady, the Patriots had backup Jimmy Garoppolo and third-string signal-caller Jacoby Brissett. Confident of his chances with just two quarterbacks, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick traded Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts for wide receiver Philip Dorsett. The Colts traded for Brissett after it was determined that starting quarterback Andrew Luck would be out due to a shoulder injury. Before the trade deadline in November, the Patriots traded Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a 2018 second-round pick.

After these moves, the Patriots' quarterback depth is shallow with just Brian Hoyer backing up the 40-year-old Brady. The situation makes the Patriots’ quarterback future uncertain, especially if something happened to Brady along the way.

Patriots traded away potential starter

The Patriots had a potential starter in Garoppolo, who led the 49ers to five straight wins since he took over the starting role from C.J. Beathard. In six games with the 49ers, Garoppolo completed 120-of-178 passes for 1,560 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions as he carried the 49ers to a 6-10 record. Brissett, for his part, played 16 games, with 15 starts, for the Colts, completing 276-of-469 passes for 3,098 yards and 13 touchdowns with seven interceptions.

Brissett also ran the ball 63 times for 260 yards and four scores for the Colts, who finished the season with a disappointing 4-12 mark.

Patriots could take quarterback in 2018 Draft

In this year’s draft, the Patriots are expected to take a quarterback at some point as an heir-apparent to Brady, who revealed his intention to play until his mid-40s.

The Patriots could pick 31st or 32nd, depending on the result of their Super Bowl LII game against the Philadelphia Eagles on February 4. According to Doug Kyed of NESN, the Patriots could take Kyle Lauletta of Richmond as a possible replacement for Brady in case he hangs up his cleats for good. Belichick and Lauletta have something in common.

Lauletta plays lacrosse, the second sport of the Patriots' head coach. Lauletta’s father and grandfather both played football at Navy, where Belichick’s father was a long-time coach and scout. Also, Lauletta’s style of play is being compared by scouts to Garoppolo.

Lauletta is highly recommended by David Jones, a former college teammate and now Patriots practice squad player. According to Jones, the Patriots could take a long look at Lauletta as a possible backup to Brady. Lauletta was impressive in the Senior Bowl where he was selected as the Most Outstanding Player after completing 8-of-12 passes for 198 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions. In his final season at Richmond, Lauletta completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 3,737 yards with 28 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. In his college career, Lauletta threw for 10,465 yards with 73 touchdowns and 35 interceptions, and added 12 rushing touchdowns.