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Patriots draft grades roundup: How experts view Drake Maye pick

Patriots draft grades roundup: How experts view Drake Maye pick originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots took a huge step toward improving their offense Thursday by selecting University of North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye with the No. 3 overall pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Patriots scored a league-low 13.9 points per game last season, and lackluster quarterback play -- highlighted by an inability to protect the football -- was the major reason for those struggles.

Maye completed 63.3 percent of his pass attempts for 3,608 yards with 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 12 games for North Carolina last season. He also ran for 449 yards with a career-high nine rushing touchdowns.

"A guy like Drake has all the natural ability that you want. He can make all the throws," Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo said during a press conference Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

"It's about getting to the playbook. It's going to be a different scheme. One thing about our playbook offensively, we're going to be a gameplan offense and we're going to tailor our offensive gameplan to whoever the quarterback is. We'll see how that pans out. But excited to get him out there with the guys and the coaches."

Maye is a good athlete with a rocket arm. He has a high football IQ and has drawn rave reviews as a leader from his teammates at North Carolina. He has all the talent needed to be successful at the pro level. Now it's up to the Patriots to develop Maye and surround him with enough talent on offense. Patriots de factor general manager Eliot Wolf acknowledged Thursday that more work is needed to improve the roster.

"I just think we need to support him in any way we can, on the field, off the field," Wolf said. "We need to add some weapons to the offense. We need to shore up the offensive line. We have good players already at those positions, but really just increasing the depth and the competition. Like Jerod mentioned, that competition is going to be at every position."

What do draft experts think of the Patriots taking Maye with the No. 3 pick? Here's a roundup of expert draft grades.

Phil Perry, NBC Sports Boston: A

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: B

Brent Sobleski, Bleacher Report: A

Joseph Acosta, SB Nation: A+

Nick Baumgardner and Scott Dochterman, The Athletic: A

Yahoo! Sports Staff: A

Jordy McElroy, Patriots Wire: A+

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY Sports: B+

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: B

Rob Rang, FOX Sports: A

Luke Easterling, Athlon Sports: A

Nick Gray, The Tennessean: B

Matt Verderame, Sports Illustrated: A-

Walter Football: A-