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Instant Analysis: Patriots Take UNC Quarterback Drake Maye Third Overall

The New England Patriots selected University of North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye with the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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The Patriots did the predictable thing on the first night of the 2024 NFL Draft, staying put at third overall and selecting quarterback Drake Maye from the University of North Carolina. It was a move that many mock drafts predicted and for good reason, the promising young prospect has all the tools necessary to become an impact starter at the most important position in football and has the kind of franchise-altering potential that the team desperately needed.

Maye started 26 games over three seasons for UNC, throwing 63 touchdowns to 16 interceptions and earning ACC Player of the Year (2022) and leading the ACC in passing (2023) along the way. He finished his college career with a 17-9 record as a starter.

Still just 21 years old, Maye has plenty of development ahead of him, but he has the size, arm strength and athleticism to do everything asked of him.

With veteran Jacoby Brissett in place, the Patriots can afford to be patient with Maye, as the young QB will need to develop his consistency and decision-making. Still, his talents are sure to impress immediately out of the gate as New England has acquired the kind of potential franchise quarterback that they've been searching for since Tom Brady's departure in 2020.

There was plenty of speculation that the Patriots would select Maye in the lead-up to the draft and sometimes the most obvious move is the one that makes the most sense. While there are other needs to be filled, the one at the quarterback position was the most glaring if New England is to get back to contention status.

"Overall, Maye needs to cut down on the reckless decisions, but he is a well-put-together passer with the on-field command, athletic instincts and arm talent to create solutions for the problems that NFL defenses present," wrote Dane Brugler in "The Beast," his annual draft prospect breakdown for The Athletic. "With his physical gifts and smarts, he is cut from the same cloth as Justin Herbert and has a similar ceiling as an NFL player."

Maye is expected to arrive in New England by Friday where he'll meet with the media and take the traditional on-field picture from inside Gillette Stadium with ownership while getting a crash course in everything Patriots.

With seven more draft picks still in the pipeline, the Patriots are off to a great start, checking off the box for their biggest need with an exciting new prospect to build around.

View Photos of Patriots first round pick, quarterback Drake Maye in action at UNC.

DISCLAIMER: The views and thoughts expressed in this article are those of the writer and don't necessarily reflect those of the organization. Read Full Disclaimer

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