New England Patriots

This stat will get Patriots fans excited about Drake Maye's potential

We might see more deep passes in the Patriots offense during the 2024 season.

NBC Universal, Inc.

The New England Patriots finally have a quarterback who can unleash deep passes down field with impressive accuracy.

The Patriots selected University of North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye with the No. 3 overall pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft on Thursday.

Maye is listed at 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, and he has a very strong arm. So strong, in fact, that he had the highest grade of any quarterback in college football since 2022 on passes of 20-plus yards, per Pro Football Focus.

We saw at his Pro Day last month that Maye is capable of launching accurate passes deep down field from the pocket or while on the run.

The Patriots didn't have a ton of success on deep passes in 2023, and it was among the reasons why their offense tied for the lowest-scoring unit in the league at 13.9 points per game.

The Patriots would be wise to surround Maye with the types of weapons on offense that can fully take advantage of his deep ball arm strength and accuracy. A wide receiver like Brandon Aiyuk of the San Francisco 49ers or Tee Higgins of the Cincinnati Bengals would be good examples.

There are also some good wideouts still available in the draft with the second and third rounds set for Friday night in Detroit. Here are the most notable names on the board (players in bold were on Phil Perry's "Prototypical Patriots" list):

Maye isn't just good at throwing deep balls. He is super accurate in the middle of the field, too, as Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo explained on NBC Sports Boston's Next Pats Podcast earlier this month.

"I think Drake Maye is one of the best middle-of-the-field throwers I've ever seen in college football," Palazzolo said. "As far as the feel (of) throwing a seam route, throwing the ball around defenders, throwing with touch, layering it -- the middle of the field is outstanding. I think he's got to work outside the numbers a little bit better. That's my quick take on Drake."

Maye has all the raw talent you could want in a quarterback. Now it's up to the Patriots coaching staff to tailor their offense around his strengths and clean up some of the weaknesses (footwork, etc.) in his game.

🔊 Next Pats: Drake Maye: One of the best prospects EVER at attacking the middle | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Contact Us