Patriots select QB Drake Maye with third overall pick in NFL Draft

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BOSTON — With the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots selected quarterback Drake Maye out of UNC.

The 21-year-old Maye was the top quarterback remaining on the board after USC’s Caleb Williams went to the Bears at No. 1 and LSU’s Jayden Daniels went to the Commanders at No. 2.

Maye started at quarterback for the Tar Heels in 2022 and 2023, throwing 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions in his redshirt freshman season while leading UNC to a 9-5 record in his first year as a starter. His numbers dipped in 2023 after losing his top two pass catchers, as he threw 24 touchdowns with nine interceptions.

At 6-foot-4 and 229 pounds, Maye fits the bill as the prototypical quarterback, while his 1,209 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns are evidence of ample athleticism to move out of the pocket. 

Some reports had indicated that the Patriots really liked Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, while a recent report suggested the team might be comfortable with drafting Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. later in the draft.

Yet after months of speculation and rumor-mongering, the Patriots went ahead and took what they — and the draft community at large — considered to be the best quarterback available when they were on the clock with the third overall pick.

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