Don’t count Drake Maye out as the Patriots starting quarterback in 2024

Drake Maye coming to Foxborough with confidence.
2024 NFL Draft - Drake Maye
2024 NFL Draft - Drake Maye / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

Drake Maye is ready to start this journey as the New England Patriots franchise quarterback sooner rather than later.

Taken with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the former North Carolina Tarheels star is eager to start wring the next chapter to his career.  Hopefully for Maye and Patriots fans, that chapter starts in 2024…if he is ready.

This is where Patriots coaches and fans must be patient with Maye.  It’s been a while since the franchise drafted a player so high, so it’s tempting to throw him right into the fire.  With prototypical size for a QB and a big arm, Maye has the talent to be special in the NFL, but at just 21 years old, he has some learning to do, and the plan is for him to learn behind veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett before the team hands over the keys. 

That is the smart approach with any young quarterback, but will that end up being the approach if Maye shows he’s ready now, despite his flaws?

Patriots quarterback competition: Get ready for Drake Maye vs Jacoby Brissett

Joining WEEI’s Jones and Mego this past Monday, the new Patriots quarterback obviously wants to be a starter, but recognizes he has a learning curve and is therefore embracing competition over the summer.

“[Starting] is obviously the goal for myself and any quarterback in the NFL,” Maye told WEEI’s “Jones and Mego” on Monday. “But also getting in there and getting the opportunity to learn, learn from Jacoby, learn from older guys and put my best foot forward. For me, just earn respect for guys and get to know them first and all the stuff on the field will come after that. ... The best thing about being a 21-year-old coming in there is getting ready to learn and soak it all in.”

Here Maye is saying the right things, the mature thing, but he’s a confident, competitive football player who has the vision of being the face of the franchise for years the come.  But first he must win a quarterback competition with Brissett and make his coaches a believer that he is ready to be thrown in the fire.  Speaking of that competition, Brissett is excited to have Maye in the QB room, which was the team’s strategy entering the offseason.

"That's all out of my control, so I don't really worry about that," Brissett told the media Wednesday, via ESPN's Mike Reiss. "I'm excited to have him on the team and the other guys as well that we drafted and picked up. I think it's gonna be good. Competition brings out the best in all of us, so I'm excited about that part."

Patriots’ fans should be excited about what’s to come over the summer.  Maye, Brissett and sixth-round pick Joe Milton will bring some much-anticipated excitement to training camp and the preseason.  Hopefully for fans and Maye that leads into the 2024 NFL season with him as the starter.  But if he is that starter, the Patriots next challenge would be to make sure he doesn’t end up in the category of Zach Wilson, Mac Jones or even fellow North Carolina alum Mitchell Trubisky as high picks that regressed instead of progressed.

Hopefully, for Patriots fans, Maye is the type who will grow while playing the role and once he finds that comfort and poise in the NFL, will take off much in the fashion like the last two franchise quarterbacks…Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady.