Patriots Select QB Drake Maye At No. 3

After suffering their worst record in more than 30 years, it was an offseason of change in New England. The Patriots are hoping to get back to their winning ways sooner than later, and the organization will be counting on their No. 3 pick to help guide the way. The Patriots have selected North Carolina QB Drake Maye with the third-overall pick.

This is New England’s first selection in a post-Bill Belichick era. While de facto GM Eliot Wolf was reportedly open to making a trade, he was reportedly seeking an unprecedented haul. That’s why most signs pointed to the organization selecting a new franchise QB.

The team moved on from former first-round QB Mac Jones this offseason. They added a clear seat-warmer in Jacoby Brissett as a replacement, so it seemed pretty clear the Patriots would walk away from the draft with a rookie QB.

Sitting with the third-overall pick, the team seemed destined to select whichever QB was left over from the grouping of Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, and Maye. With Williams locked in at No. 1 and Daniels trending towards the No. 2 pick, there have been plenty of rumblings in New England surrounding their interest in Maye. There was some speculation that J.J. McCarthy could break into the top-three, but the Patriots didn’t end up straying from the projected pick.

Maye put himself firmly on the NFL map following a 2022 campaign where he earned ACC Player of the Year after passing for a school-record 4,321 yards. He didn’t put up nearly the same numbers during his follow-up 2023 season, but that didn’t end up hurting his draft stock.

The Patriots left the door open to a potential trade-down move, but they are not believed to have seen quality offers emerge. Teams like the Giants and Vikings were closely tied to Maye in recent days, but the Patriots — by virtue of their 4-13 record — held the right of first refusal once the Commanders chose Jayden Daniels. New England was never seriously connected to trading the pick, and the team will try again at QB after a rocky final two years with Jones.

After striking out on Jones, the Patriots will be hoping Maye provides the QB longevity they’ve been seeking since moving on from Tom Brady. With Brissett currently atop the depth chart, the team can bring Maye along slowly until he’s ready to go. New England’s arsenal of weapons leaves plenty to be desired, so with their future QB secured, it wouldn’t be shocking if the front office looks to improve their receiver corps ahead of the 2024 campaign.

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