New criticism of Patriots quarterback Drake Maye can be easily debunked

Debate about young QBs "footwork" is so much baloney
North Carolina v Pittsburgh
North Carolina v Pittsburgh / G Fiume/GettyImages

Suggestions that the New England Patriots trade down from pick No. 3 in the recent NFL draft and not take quarterback Drake Maye were lousy ideas. Any attempt to justify that point of view is even more so now, especially if the suggested "flaws" in Maye's game, e.g., his "footwork," are perceived as serious concerns.

Please get real. Eliot Wolf made the right decision in throwing off all the suggestions he should trade the third overall pick for more assets and forego taking a top quarterback in the draft.

If you need a QB and can get a top-three in any draft, you just take him. Case closed.

Eliot Wolf won't get a pass here on any moves that don't seem to measure up. You are toast if you don't fill the left tackle position. Wolf didn't, and he'll likely feel the consequences of that rather incomprehensible non-move. That is, unless ...

That great "unless" is if he starts Drake Maye from Day One in the preseason, and then in the real games, he may (no pun intended), just have found a way to win, and win now.

Absent that, keep Maye on the bench, and the team will flounder until it's too late to make a difference in 2024 (which, by the way, is the only season that matters at all).

Criticism of Drake Maye's footwork is nitpicking

Now, after not liking Wolf's drafting of Maye, the new tact is to critique his footwork and resume. That's the criticism du jour trying to justify their not wanting him to be drafted in the first place.

Let's make one thing clear: playing any position in any sport is not dictated by any absolute rubrics or rules. Different players use different tactics to make things work. Drake Maye has forged top success in college by doing things his way. He shouldn't be forced to alter that way in any significant manner by the Patriots.

Granted, any player can learn and improve. But belaboring things like "footwork" and trying to re-make a young player into what he is not is a prescription for disaster.

Try suggesting that Patrick Mahomes, whose improvisational brilliance has taken him and the Chiefs to the highest levels of the NFL, he shouldn't throw on the run. Right.

Is Drake Maye another Patrick Mahomes? Who is? But he can be his player with his own strong suits. He said he's here to win. The young man has his feet firmly planted on the ground, even if his "footwork" isn't all some analysts think it should be.

Drake Maye will succeed if he has it in himself to succeed

Athletes either have it in themselves or they don't. Whether the third pick in the draft, the 199th pick, or if they go undrafted. They'll find a way if they have that all-important "je ne sais quoi," the "it" factor. Coaching is fine, but the "it" factor outweighs everything else for a quarterback.

When it comes to "footwork", spare us all this silliness. Maybe there are a few basics, but a top quarterback, a winner, will find a way, no matter what. Tom Brady would have succeeded if he had been cut by the Patriots and not been kept as an almost unprecedented fourth quarterback (Bill Belichick's best career decision, by far). He'd have gone on to another team and made it there, much to the chagrin of the title-deficient Patriots.

The thought here is that Drake Maye has everything he needs to be an NFL success and, hopefully, even a champion. He has excellent arm strength and can make all the throws. He throws the ball from any angle to get a completion (and even throws with his left hand to get a TD!). His arm slot on drop-backs is perfect. He can slide in the pocket, like Tom Brady, and move in the pocket, like Peyton Manning.

He can also move outside the pocket and throw on the run like Mahomes, making things happen on a broken play. In addition, he can run better than any of the above at any time to make chicken salad out of chicken ... meal.

So, please stow all the silly criticism about footwork and watch things unfold. We may be looking at the quarterback who returns the pathetic New England Patriots offense to respectability or even championship quality.

Drake Maye has everything he needs to do just that, his so-called "questionable footwork" notwithstanding.

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