Arbella Early Edition

Breer shares intel on how Patriots view Drake Maye's development

"Day over day they're seeing really good progress."

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The New England Patriots entered into a new era at the 2024 NFL Draft by using their first-round pick to select QB Drake Maye at No. 3. While veteran Jacoby Brissett seems likely to begin the season as the starter, it appears the rookie quarterback is progressing nicely, showing signs of elite skills early on.

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer joined Trenni Casey on NBC Sports Boston's Early Edition on Thursday night to reveal what he's been hearing about New England's newest QB.

"I've heard it's been going great," Breer told Casey of Maye's development so far. "Like honestly, and that's from multiple people today -- people that have been there every day. They say the progress has been incremental. Now that doesn't mean he's making these huge leaps, but day over day they're seeing really good progress."

Coming into the draft, Maye was seen as a promising prospect who had great arm strength and athletic ability, making him a player with high potential when paired with his 6-foot-4, 223-pound frame. On the flip side, some scouts questioned his on-field decision-making, as he threw 16 career interceptions across three seasons at the University of North Carolina.

"You see the arm talent," Breer added. "What they've found since they've got him in the building is that he has almost no footwork training, so what he was doing in college was without having much training at all when it comes to tying his feet to how he throws (and) the play calls. So they've been working through that."

The Patriots are likely in no rush to get Maye on the field. With a tough schedule and a young roster, it would be a shock to see the Patriots contending this season. The coaching staff instead will work with Maye to make sure he is fully prepared to play at the next level.

"[Maye] hasn't done a lot under center, historically going back to high school and college," Breer added. "A lot of his work [with New England] has been under center, trying to get him to learn to do that. When he ties it all together, you see the talent -- what they are seeing is elite down-field accuracy ... an ability to go through progressions ... and there's no panic -- and that's another thing that can help him get on the field."

Maye's stats saw a bit of a decline in his final year at UNC, as he threw for 3,608 yards on a 63.3 percent completion rate with 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions after posting 4,321 passing yards at a 66.2 percent completion rate with 38 touchdown passes and seven interceptions in 2022.

"What they are seeing right now is a kid who does not panic, who isn't forcing the ball when the picture gets jumbled on him, because that's what's going to happen with all young quarterbacks," Breer said of Maye. "It doesn't mean he's ready to start, but what they're seeing is a kid who is learning and who is applying what he's learning on to the field, which is the first step to becoming a better quarterback."

As for what the first-team lineup has looked like in OTAs, Breer said that it's been a complete mix. While Brissett has been getting most of the reps with the starting lineup, both Maye and Bailey Zappe have also logged reps with the first team.

"I think the feeling is that over time, you're going to start to see Drake Maye working more consistently with the [second team], and then you'll see whether or not he can turn that into a real competition [for the starting job]," Breer added.

For more intel from Breer on Maye's development, check out the full Early Edition segment below.

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