New England Patriots

Elite QB prospect falls to Patriots in ESPN's new 2024 NFL mock draft

Should the Patriots take Drake Maye at No. 3 if he's there?

NBC Universal, Inc.

Now that the Super Bowl is over and the offseason is officially underway, it's time to devote even more attention to the 2024 NFL Draft.

Sure, free agency in March will help shape the balance of power in the NFL, especially if some of the best players available sign with new teams.

But the draft is where Super Bowl champions are made, and this particular class is so interesting because four or five (maybe more?) quarterbacks might be drafted in the first round.

USC's Caleb Williams seems like the favorite to go No. 1, regardless of whether the Chicago Bears keep that top pick or trade it. The real debate is between UNC's Drake Maye and LSU's Jayden Daniels at No. 2, where the Washington Commanders are currently slotted.

More and more mock drafts have Daniels, who won the Heisman Trophy with the Tigers last season, going to the Commanders at No. 2. That includes ESPN expert Field Yates' first 2024 NFL mock draft published Wednesday. Yates has the Patriots staying at No. 3 and taking the next-best QB available in Maye.

"The 6-foot-4, 230-pound quarterback is still 21 years old and has the prototypical build for an NFL passer," Fields wrote in his analysis of the Patriots' pick. "Maye is a strike-thrower when targeting the middle of the field, but he also shows nifty pocket agility to extend plays and has 16 rushing touchdowns over the past two seasons.

"As the Patriots embark on a new era under Jerod Mayo, they could build the new offense around Maye. New England finished last season 30th in yards per attempt (6.1) and 31st in Total QBR (31.6)."

🔊 Patriots Talk: The "FIND THE GUY" vs. "BUILD THE TEAM" argument | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Maye completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 3,608 yards with 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions for the Tar Heels last season. He has all the physical tools that scouts love, including a rocket arm and great size at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds.

Trading down is another option for the Patriots and would allow them to accumulate more draft picks to accelerate their rebuild. But it's hard to pass up on a potential franchise QB like Maye, especially when lackluster play at that position was a major problem for the Patriots in 2023.

Contact Us