New England Patriots get it right by ushering in Drake Maye era

The Patriots needed a quarterback and chose a potentially great one.
Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Here is a little-known secret, New England Patriots fans. While everyone assumed USC's Caleb Williams was going to be the first pick in the 2024 NFL draft seemingly since 1885, the Patriots may have very well gotten the best quarterback in the draft. Assuming Williams was going to be great blinded some perceptions. Maye appeared to be taken apart more in the days before the draft. General perception does not matter.

Drake Maye has the arm talent and elite athleticism to be the second-best quarterback in Patriots history. Physically, he is better than Tom Brady entering the league, but what separated Brady from every other quarterback in the history of the league is how he knew best how to take his talent and use that to the best of his ability and put himself into the best situations.

Drake Maye might not reach Brady's level of ability to think through everything before it happens, but Maye, as opposed to a quarterback such as Jayden Daniels, also knows he cannot just rely on his raw athleticism to be successful. Maye comes from a family of athletes, but some of those family members, such as his brother, Luke, could not rely solely on the physical ability to be good. They needed to outthink their opponents and Drake will have learned that as well and that is going to make him a good leader.

New England Patriots hit a home run by taking quarterback Drake Maye

Also, as opposed to Daniels, Maye's numbers went down in his last year in college because North Carolina lost so much talent from the previous season. In 2023, he was basically playing with backups of the 2022 team. His passing numbers still did not drop too much (his touchdowns dropped from 38 to 24 but his interceptions only increased from 7 to 9), and he ran more efficiently.

His ability to run and pick up yards has always been one of the more underrated parts of his game. He has a knack for knowing when to take off. This is going to help the Patriots pick up first downs that they wouldn't have since Brady left. Cam Newton was a fantastic runner, but not an intuitive one. Maye is.

There should still be no doubt, though, that Drake Maye can make any throw needed with velocity and to any part of the field. He will eventually elevate the players around him. Maye not win six Super Bowls (or, who knows?; maybe he could), but he is going to get the Patriots back to the playoffs sooner rather than later and probably faster than the Chicago Bears or Washington Commanders get back to the postseason.

Grade: A

More Patriots coverage: