Latest comp for Drake Maye might change Patriots' feelings on quarterback

Campbell v North Carolina
Campbell v North Carolina / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

The constant flip-flopping regarding the projection of quarterback prospects set to be in the upcoming draft is nowhere near done. Unfortunately, because of their positioning at the top of the first round and their need for a signal caller, the Patriots are a main subject in the daily debate.

Leading up to the start of the offseason, there was an emphasis on UNC's Drake Maye as the next New England quarterback. Many experts felt he fit the mold of a Bill Belichick player and would be the obvious choice given where they were in the draft order.

Once the head coach left the head team, that's when Jayden Daniels began to become the new favorite and has predominately remained the frontrunner over the last two months. That has changed in recent weeks, as Daniels' rising stock has him touted as the second-best quarterback of the class, with the Commanders said to be enticed by his talents.

And because of that, the Maye to the Patriots train is back on the rails.

The shift back to the 21-year-old has been met with a mixed response among fans and the local media. Daniels' intrigue is real, and because he plays a similar game to Lamar Jackson, who fans are still upset Belichick passed twice on drafting, the idea of selecting another impressive LSU quarterback has felt too good to be true.

Maye, on the other hand, has drawn more questionable responses, mainly due to the lack of stiffer competition and the possibility of him following the last UNC quarterback who was drafted, Mitch Trubisky.

That's not a quarterback anyone would want to restart their franchise, which might be why the Patriots are said not to "love" Maye as a prospect.

But the latest comp of Maye could change New England's mind.

Drake Maye is compared to Joe Burrow, who has put the Bengals back on the map since he was drafted

Lance Zierlein of recently spoke to Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston and shared his take on who the quarterback plays similarly to.

He might not be the next Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes, but the NFL Draft analyst believes he could be compared to the talents of Bengals' Joe Burrow.

“I think physically, [Maye] probably compares favorably with Joe Burrow. Just as far as what he brings to the table from an athleticism, from an arm talent standpoint. Yeah, he has some growing to do, he’s only played three years in college and two of them on the field. I think there’s a lot to work with here.”

Considering Burrow has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league over the last three years, even taking the Bengals to the Super Bowl in 2022, selecting a player that is even remotely reminiscent of him wouldn't be so bad.

Maye can clearly play well and has the arm talent that many feel Mac Jones lacked. Despite his inexperience, he has put together a pretty impressive resume that makes him one of the top three players in this year's class.

As great as it sounds, though, Maye's assessment has been very much all over the place. From naming him the next Burrow and some even claiming he's the best prospect of the class (even over Caleb Williams) to others believing he needs to sit behind a veteran for at least one year, it will be a lot for the Patriots to process before draft day.

They're in a difficult situation, and despite their need for a quarterback, they shouldn't take one they don't love. However, if more analysts agree with Zierlein's comp, they might reconsider their stance.

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