New England Patriots

Will Drake Maye start for Patriots? Here is Jerod Mayo's response

"Our philosophy is the best players will play."

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Have the New England Patriots found their next franchise quarterback?

The Patriots used the No. 3 pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft to select University of North Carolina star Drake Maye. Most mock drafts had Maye falling to the Patriots, so this pick definitely wasn't a surprise.

Upgrading at quarterback needed to be the priority for the Patriots in this draft, and now the work begins to develop Maye and help him reach his potential. There's been a lot of talk in recent months about whether the Patriots should sit their rookie quarterback and let him learn the offense behind a veteran.

Patriots de facto general manager Eliot Wolf spent many years with the Green Bay Packers, who've had success doing that with Aaron Rodgers and most recently Jordan Love.

New England signed veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett in free agency last month, and he has plenty of starting experience, so the Patriots don't need to throw Maye into the fire in Week 1.

But is there a chance Maye could be the starter to begin the regular season? Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo didn't completely rule it out during his press conference Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

"I don't think many rookies are ready to just jump in and play. At the end of the day, our philosophy is the best players will play," Mayo said, as seen in the video player above.

"Coming in as a rookie, hopefully he's a sponge. There are a lot of good players in that locker room. Look, Jacoby, he understands he's a mentor and is very smart and has great leadership skills. Hopefully Drake can learn somthing from him as well. But we're going to compete all spring and training camp, and the best player will start."

Mayo also addressed this topic later in the presser, saying, "We're not sitting here saying Drake is our starting quarterback. He understands that. He understands the things he has to get better at. And with coaching and hard work and the coaches we have, the support system from ownership, I think he has the chance to go out there and really play at a high level.

"You can talk about potential all you want to, but until you reach it, it doesn't matter. We do know the man, and we know the man is a hard worker, and he's going to everything he can to be successful."

The Patriots still have to upgrade their roster at wide receiver and offensive line, specifically left tackle. If they can add more talent and depth at those positions, then maybe the offense will be in a place where it would make sense for a rookie such as Maye to step in.

But right now, it probably is best for Maye to sit, get familiar with the playbook and learn from a veteran like Brissett before taking over the offense.

Tom E. Curran, Albert Breer and former Patriots QB Brian Hoyer offer instant reaction and analysis to the Patriots' selection of QB Drake Maye third overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.
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