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Will Patriots take Drake Maye if they don't trade down?

The Patriots, by all appearances, keep trying to get someone to make them an overwhelming offer for the third pick in the draft, which another team would use to (presumably) pick North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye.

Here's the real question. If they don't get an offer they like (from, for example, the Giants at No. 6 or the Vikings at No. 11), will the Patriots take Maye for themselves? There's a school of thought in some league circles that they will.

It would be a big move, the highest spot in which the Patriots have taken a quarterback since they drafted Drew Bledsoe first overall in 1993. Even though it has been four years since Tom Brady left, a top-three quarterback would stand firmly in Tommy's long shadow.

Complicating Maye's arrival in New England would be whatever offer the Patriots reject from the Giants or the Vikings. At the end of the day, the Patriots will have to choose between taking Maye or loading up with whatever the best offer might be.

It's hard not to think that Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who bought the team the year after Bledsoe was drafted, understands the value of not putting all eggs in one basket. Especially if someone else is willing to give them plenty of other baskets. Especially with the roster needing a lot more than a quarterback.

Of course, whoever trades up for Maye will be in that same boat, giving up a lot to get one player. And it will add extra pressure to the player.

That's a complication teams seem to overlook when trading up in the draft. It's one thing for a player to be taken first or second or third or wherever in the top 10. It's quite another for a team to give up future assets to get that pick.

Think about what that can do to a player. The Panthers gave up a lot (including what became this year's No. 1 overall pick) to get Bryce Young last year. No pressure, Bryce. The 49ers invested three first-round picks and a third-round pick in Trey Lance, who never seemed comfortable in San Francisco.

It also applies to veteran players. The Browns sacrificed three first-round picks, three other selections, and $46 million per year on a five-year, fully-guaranteed contract to get Deshaun Watson. Is any player in the league under more pressure to justify an investment this year than Watson?

The way it's playing out, there could be plenty of pressure for Drake Maye, too, whether it's in New England or New York or Minnesota. Someone either will have given up a lot to get him, or will have passed on plenty to keep him.

No pressure, Drake.