New England Patriots

How Maye's offensive situation compares to other first-round QBs

Chris Simms and Mike Florio believe Drake Maye has his work cut out for him in New England.

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The New England Patriots hope they have their next franchise quarterback in the No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, Drake Maye. Of course, some QBs are only as good as the situation around them.

The Patriots did what they could to support their young signal-caller with the rest of their draft picks. Seven of their eight selections were used on offensive players, including three pass-catchers and two offensive linemen. The two wide receivers they picked, Ja'Lynn Polk and Javon Baker, have skill sets that pair well with Maye's downfield throwing ability.

Still, New England's offense has plenty to prove after two consecutive lackluster seasons. The receiver room lacks a true No. 1 and a giant question mark remains at the left tackle position.

These issues stick out to NBC Sports' Chris Simms and Mike Florio, who graded Maye's offensive situation far worse than No. 1 pick Caleb Williams' in Chicago and No. 10 pick J.J. McCarthy's in Minnesota.

🔊 Patriots Talk: Devin McCourty on Drake Maye’s development and what he liked about the Patriots' draft | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"Five-ish? I'm gonna say 5. That's about where it is," Simms rated Maye's situation with the Patriots on a scale of 1-10. "There's nobody on that roster that any defense or defensive coordinator is going to be staying up late at night going, 'Oh my gosh, we have to play this guy.' There's nobody.

"Right now as it stands, I would go (running back) Rhamondre Stevenson is the most dangerous guy on the Patriots offense. Period. But their offensive line, we know that needs a little work and there's certainly some issues there. And receiver (position) is, you know, good but nothing special. Same with the tight end situation there. So, yeah, I look at that to go, that's not the greatest supporting cast and how to start things as far as a rookie quarterback is concerned."

Florio agreed with Simms' assessment of the Pats offense and gave an even lower grade for their rookie QB's situation.

"I think that's right," Florio said. "And look, these guys don't get to pick where they're gonna go, but you've got the alternative destinations New York and Minnesota where the head coach is an offensive guy. In New England, the head coach is a defensive guy and a first-year head coach, and there's a lot of turmoil, and there's a legacy to chase. There's shoes to fill.

"I think for Drake Maye and all the stuff he's gonna step into, and the Boston sports fans, they're only gonna give him a certain amount of grace period before they really start clamoring. I'll go four-and-a-half, and that's even generous. I'll go 4. They needed a guy who could come in and play right away. They needed Jayden Daniels. They didn't need a guy who's going to be parked on the bench indefinitely and then everyone's going to hold their breath when it's time for him to go play."

As for McCarthy and Williams, Simms and Florio considered giving their offensive situations perfect 10s. You can hear what they had to say about all three quarterbacks in the video below:

For what it's worth, Maye disagrees with the notion he's walking into a less-than-ideal situation.

"I think they're wrong," Maye said of analysts who rank New England's situation as one of the worst. "The defense last year held a lot of teams to low points, and I'm looking forward to helping anyway on the offense, offensively. I'm just looking forward to being there with coach [Jerod] Mayo his first year."

Maye will compete with veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett and perhaps third-year signal-caller Bailey Zappe for the starting QB job. The addition of Brissett, who began his NFL career with New England in 2016, should help take the pressure off Maye in his debut season. If he isn't ready, head coach Jerod Mayo won't rush him into a situation that doesn't put him in a position to succeed.

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