Patriots OC gives definitive answer about Drake Maye's starting timeline

New England Patriots OTA Offseason Workout
New England Patriots OTA Offseason Workout / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Once it was clear the Patriots would have a top-three draft pick in this year's draft, the position they would take was obvious. With Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe proving not to be the future of the franchise, it was time to take another shot at getting the right quarterback for the job.

There was no better opportunity to do that than using a high first-round pick on one of the top quarterbacks of the class, hence the selection of Drake Maye.

The question then became when the UNC alum would get the starting job, as not only was he a rookie coming onto a team with an unexciting cast of offensive teammates, but Jacoby Brissett had been signed in free agency as the presumable starting bridge player.

Although it was a good signing in case whoever the new regime decided to take in the draft wasn't ready to start as a rookie, many in New England want to see the young player be the starter as soon as possible. It's become one of the hottest topics of the offseason, which has heated up over the past few weeks during OTAs.

We seem to have gotten more clarity on the situation with offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt's latest update regarding Maye's starting timeline this week.

Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt gives definitive answer about Drake Maye's starting timeline

Over the past few weeks of Patriots OTAs, the quarterbacks have received high praise for how they have performed early on.

Brissett is proving to be the trusted veteran, thriving in a Van Pelt offense, much like he did when the pair worked together in Cleveland. Maye has been looking great, as well, impressing with no-look passes and building chemistry with a variety of his offensive teammates to make stand-out plays on a nearly daily basis.

But that hasn't changed the current depth chart and the outlook for the 2024 season, according to Van Pelt. When asked about a timetable for Maye to take over as QB1, the offensive coordinator revealed the plan remains for Brissett to be the starter, but if Maye continues to improve, that decision might change.

“I think you have to take that as it comes, really. When those decisions are made they’ll be made together as a group with Eliot (Wolf) and coach Mayo. When that time comes, we’ll see. But there is no timetable. Jacoby (Brissett), again, is our starter and he’s playing excellent football for us this spring. And Drake is coming on.”

Understandably, the plan remains intact at this point in the offseason. It's just OTAs, the team's earliest practices, and Maye's first chance to show what he can do in an NFL offense. Although it would be incredible to see him show up and show out as soon as he took the field, it's expected that he will need time to transition to the pros, so there shouldn't be any concerns regarding his development.

Yet, at the same time, it feels like the coaches give conflicting reports about Maye's production. One second, they're blown away by what he's doing on and off the field; the next, they claim he has a long way to go. The truth is likely in there somewhere, and maybe they're trying to keep their cards close to their chest in hopes of not giving too much away.

But it's confusing for fans holding onto every word of their evaluations; it makes it difficult to truly know how Maye is progressing.

Whatever the truth is, it will be more clear once training camp begins and the media and fans are allowed to watch many of the practices. The good thing is that Maye seems to have moved up the depth chart in recent days. Last week, he was taking third-string reps behind Brissett and Zappe. This week, he was second in line to Brissett.

That's a positive sign of how he's doing early on, right? We'll know soon enough.

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