New England Patriots

New Patriots QB Drake Maye explains jersey number choice

Patriots fans will see a new No. 10 under center this fall.

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New quarterback, same jersey number.

Rookie quarterback Drake Maye, whom the Patriots selected with the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft on Thursday night, confirmed Friday he'll wear No. 10 in New England.

No. 10 is a logical choice for Maye considering he wore the number in high school and in college at North Carolina. Maye's choice is still notable, however, because the Patriots' last first-round QB, Mac Jones, didn't exactly represent No. 10 well -- the 2021 No. 15 overall pick was benched in favor of Bailey Zappe last season and traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars in March.

When asked about his jersey number decision, Maye made a joking reference to legendary Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who will be the last player to wear No. 12 in New England.

"Yeah, I think I'm gonna stay with 10. As long as it ain't 12; (can't) fill those shoes," Maye said during his introductory press conference at Gillette Stadium. "But I'm gonna stay with 10. It's the number that I wore in high school and college, so just keep it the same."

Maye will be the third Patriots QB in the last decade to wear No. 10, as Jimmy Garoppolo held the number from 2014 to 2016. The 21-year-old arrives in Foxboro with greater expectations than both Jones and Garoppolo as the franchise's highest draft pick since Drew Bledsoe in 1993.

And while he insisted Thursday night he's not trying to be Brady -- "I'm just going to try to be Drake Maye" -- Maye still has plans to learn from the GOAT when Brady is in Foxboro on June 12 for his Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

"Any quarterback's gotta be a Tom Brady fan," Maye said. "I think they're already talking about June 12 being sold out for Tom and the celebration for him, so it'll be an honor to get to meet him, get to pick his brain.

"He's one of the greatest to ever do it, so it'll be an awesome moment to get to meet him and just be a sponge and soak it all in."

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