The New England Patriots are in the midst of their worst season in almost three decades, holding a 2-8 record with little going right on either side of the ball.

As such, heads are beginning to turn towards next year - and New England can take solace in its dismal campaign creating a high selection in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Patriots currently own the No. 3 overall pick - but who could they take to help bring the franchise back to its former level of play?

With quarterbacks Drake Maye and Caleb Williams gone in the first two choices, Sports Illustrated gave the Patriots help along the offensive line in the form of Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu.

"If both the top quarterbacks come off the board, the Pats would still have an opportunity to choose between two elite prospects at positions of need," Sports Illustrated writes.

"While Marvin Harrison Jr. is the best overall prospect in the entire class, it won’t be surprising if Bill Belichick opts to address the offensive trenches instead with a franchise left tackle in Fashanu."

Sep 17, 2022; Auburn, Alabama, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions running back Nicholas Singleton (10) celebrates with offensive lineman Olumuyiwa Fashanu (74) after scoring a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the third quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Receiver, quarterback and cornerback were listed as New England's most important positions to fill, but the 6-6, 317-pound Fashanu ultimately proved too valuable to pass up.

Related: NFL Mock Draft: Patriots Pick Franchise Quarterback?

Fashanu, who will be a 21-year-old rookie, earned All-Big Ten and All-American honors last season and has been named a semifinalist for this year's Lombardi Award, given annually to college football's best lineman.

According to Pro Football Focus, Fashanu hasn't allowed a sack in 324 pass blocking snaps.

He's a team captain and semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Award, which goes to the player who has the best combination of community service, academics and on-field play.

The Patriots are tied for 16th in the league with 23 sacks allowed. There are bigger needs - but Fashanu appears to be a home run pick who provides value both on and off the gridiron.

And that ultimately may be exactly what New England needs after a demoralizing campaign.