Two Patriots rookies ranked in ESPN’s top-100 picks in 2024 NFL draft

Two New England Patriots players cracked ESPN’s top-100 picks in the 2024 NFL draft.

Coming in at No. 20 on the list, former North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, who is positioned to eventually be the new franchise face in New England, was the obvious choice on the list.

He’s has size, a strong arm, great control and the ability to make plays on the move when things break down around him. On a plain sheet of paper, he’s the blueprint of a successful NFL quarterback. His development is the only thing standing between his eventual masterpiece or train wreck.

ESPN’s Matt Miller wrote:

The Patriots are the opposite of the Bears and Vikings when it comes to the offensive surroundings, but the selection of Maye is still one of the best in the class. At just 21 years old, he has considerable talent as a thrower, mover and leader. And if New England hadn’t drafted him, he very likely still would have been selected in the top six via a trade up or by the Giants grabbing him. Maye has the toughness and poise to lead the Patriots through this rebuild.

The other top-100 player was former UCF star receiver Javon Baker, who broke the internet with his post-draft comments.

During his run in college, Baker proved he had the bite to back up his bark with 52 catches for 1,139 yards and seven touchdowns at UCF last season. He has the size and big playmaking ability to emerge as an eventual No. 1 receiving option for the Patriots. The former Knight came in at No. 83 on the list.

Miller wrote:

Baker is a fantastic red-zone threat with the body control and footwork to make a mark in the NFL in his first season. He caught 52 passes for 1,139 yards and seven TDs last season. The Pats knew they needed to add playmakers and went about it over the three days of the draft.

Maye and Baker have a connection through the short time they spent together at the University of Alabama. Baker played with the Crimson Tide for two seasons, while Maye originally committed to the school before he ultimately decided to join the Tar Heels instead.

There’s hope that the reunion between the two could turn the tide from pretender to contender for a Patriots team that finished 4-13 last season.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire