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Monday Patriots Notebook 4/1: News and Notes

The New England Patriots apparently liked what they saw in Drake Maye last week.

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
April 1, 2024 at 10:00 am ET

Monday Patriots Notebook 4/1: News and Notes(PHOTO: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

🕑 Read Time: 5 minutes

Breer: Maye Shows Similarities to Allen

Last week’s Pro Days where the Patriots evaluated both Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye, seem to have shifted the narrative in terms of who New England should be considering among quarterbacks.  So far, it sounds like Maye is building some momentum.

Daniels is a player who has caught the eye of quite a few teams in terms of his athleticism and his arm-strength.  While the standout at North Carolina isn’t quite as good of an athlete as Daniels, the focus last week was showcasing his ability to make plays off-script.

Maye reportedly performed well in those areas, and that seems to have increased his stock.

Granted, Maye had moments where some of his throws sailed and it certainly wasn’t perfect.  But what he showed is potential, which teams are certainly happy to work with.

He’s far from a finished product. His workout last week was a reminder that he still has a lot of work to do, but both the physical and mental traits are definitely there.

In the end, that’s what teams are looking for.  Especially when taking a quarterback at the top of the draft board.

Albert Breer and Phil Perry spoke about Maye over the weekend on NBC Sports Boston, giving their thoughts on the future-rookie.  While looking at the North Carolina QB, Breer sees some similarities to Bills quarterback, Josh Allen.

“I’ve found a comp that I like on Drake Maye.  He is Josh Allen, just a step down in just about every category,” said Breer.  “And I think that physically maybe puts him closer to the ballpark of where Joe Burrow is.  But he’s got Josh Allen playmaking traits, he’s got pop in his arm.  He’s a really, really, really, good athlete.  There’s a lot to work with there.”

Breer also notes that Maye’s college career was similar to Allen’s.  Allen had a strong start but then lost several teammates to the NFL, with the former Wyoming QB then being forced to carry things.  Allen had his struggles, which people also saw at times in Buffalo after he was drafted.

Still, he overcame those. Breer believes the same can be said for Maye, who has overcome similar obstacles already.

“I mean, I can tell you guys this from talking to coaches who have started to call down there, and have started to look at the film, and then talking to scouts who have looked at film year-round,” said Breer.  “The first thing almost all of them say is how dreadful things were at North Carolina last year.  The scheme was a mess, because they lost Phil Longo, the offensive coordinator there the year before, to Wisconsin.  The personnel around him weren’t very good.  Their top receiver was a guy whose status was in limbo for half the year.”

“And so I actually think when you’re looking at this long-term, what you’re seeing on tape last year from Drake Maye might actually wind up benefitting him.  Because it had to be about him last year.  Whereas the year before, he had good support around him and played that way, last year, he had to really carry the team.  And there were fits and starts, but I’m sure there was a lot of learning that went on too.”

Mac Jones

(PHOTO: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)

The fact Maye dealt with all that and came out on the right side of things is impressive, given what we just witnessed the last couple of seasons.  Obviously, the Patriots dealt with their own offensive coordinator change and the problems that resulted with previous first-round pick, Mac Jones.

Jones clearly imploded in that situation and never recovered, which is among the reasons why they finished 4-13 last season and ended up back in a spot where they’re having to evaluate another quarterback.

Perry added that the fact Maye was able to overcome that situation was definitely a good sign, especially given the adversity he’ll likely face at the next level.

“And that’s how it’s going to be in the NFL,” said Perry.  “That, to me, I think, helps you or any evaluator in terms of what you’re projecting him to be.  You’ve seen him in muddy pockets.  You’ve seen him have to create.  You’ve seen him throw with his left hand at times because the defensive tackle has his right arm pinned by his side, and he’s still trying to make a play to win a football game.”

“That’s the kind of weird stuff that happens in-game.  Sometimes it leads to bad decisions, sometimes it leads to crazy misses.  But he has so much high-end that’s there.”

Drake Maye

(PHOTO: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Improvement Still Needed

Bill Connelly had an interesting piece on ESPN Insider, looking at who he believed was the best comparison for each QB prospect while also noting some numbers for those players as he broke them down.

With Maye, his pro comps were interesting.  He compared him to Russell Wilson and Jalen Hurts, at least when purely looking at his numbers.

However, Connelly also highlighted Maye’s success against the blitz, with his mobility being something Connelly feels has certainly helped him.

“Maye’s overall stats grow more impressive when you consider that opponents blitzed him 32% of the time (44th-highest), and he was pressured on 34% of dropbacks (75th highest),” writes Connelly.  “That’s far more than most other top prospects, and it forced him to prove his mobility at times. He scrambled on 11% of dropbacks (22nd) and averaged a solid 7.5 yards per scramble (97th), and unlike other prospects who trust their legs a little too much, his 20.6% sacks-to-pressures ratio was solid (145th). His mobility helps him buy time and avoid contact in a very helpful way.”

One other area that Maye looks to need improvement with is that he apparently struggled against man coverage in college compared to zone.  Connelly looked at the numbers, and there was a stark difference in both areas.

“He is far more effective against zone defenses than against man,” he wrote. “His career raw QBR against zone was 86.9 (11th overall), but his QBR against man was just 63.1 (107th). He wasn’t blessed with USC’s or LSU’s receiving corps — and obviously you need man-beating receivers to beat man coverage — but with players like Josh Downs (in 2022) and Tez Walker (in 2023) he wasn’t exactly lacking options either.”

“Among 126 QBR-eligible quarterbacks in 2023, Maye ranked 10th against zone and 105th against man. That is a unique and, considering he’ll face more man coverage in the pros, not entirely encouraging combination.”

Again, he’s a raw prospect and you don’t really know what a player can do until they’re at the next level.  Maye’s already overcome a lot to get to this point.

Whether or not he can do it in the NFL is something Jerod Mayo and his staff will now have to try and figure out in the coming weeks as they continue pondering who they’ll ultimately be targeting at #3.

Odds and Ends

With the in-person scouting seemingly behind them, Mayo has a busy week ahead as he and his staff will now start preparing for players to arrive for voluntary workouts.  Players originally would have been able to report as early as today, but Mayo pushed it back to next Monday, April 8th.  He told reporters last week that the reason for pushing things back was with so many new coaches, he felt it was important to have everyone on the same page and relaying the same message.  “You don’t win games in the spring, but you can lose them and I don’t want to fall into that trap,” said Mayo.  “I want to make sure that we’re all pulling in the same direction.” … Ben Volin had an interesting note in his Sunday column, with the owner’s meetings last week revealing that the league is concerned with its recent drop in scoring.   The 2023 season was apparently the second-straight in which leaguewide scoring was below the NFL’s preferred threshold of 45 points per game. Volin noted that NFL games averaged 43.5 points in 2023 and 43.8 in 2022, down from 46.0 in 2021 and a record 49.6 in 2020.  “The only issue that we’ve raised a little bit is scoring, because scoring has trended itself down,” said Falcons CEO and chairman of the league’s competition committee, Rich McKay. “We get nervous when you start going down.”  Volin adds that only four seasons in the past 15 years have produced fewer than 44 points per game: 2009, 2017, 2022, and 2023. … Mike Reiss pointed out on Sunday that season ticket holders will receive info this week on Tom Brady’s Patriots Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which is slated for June 12, at 7pm ET.  That portion runs through April 12th, with any remaining inventory set to be available later this month.

Tuesday Patriots Notebook 4/2: News and Notes

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.

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    16 days ago

    I think the consideration for Maye is because the best pick for the Patriots, Daniels, will be taken by the Commanders. So that leaves Maye. He will need special attention during his first year to be a starter, possibly in his 2nd year.

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