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Where do Pats stand on Drake Maye? Curran, Perry offer insight

Where do Pats stand on Drake Maye? Curran, Perry offer insight originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots are preparing for one of the most important drafts in franchise history. Now without longtime head coach and general manager Bill Belichick, the Patriots could look to begin their new era by landing a franchise quarterback -- most likely UNC's Drake Maye or LSU's Jayden Daniels -- with the No. 3 pick.

NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discussed the two QBs in the latest episode of Patriots Talk Podcast, where they debated whether Maye is worth the No. 3 selection and what they are hearing from inside the organization.

Struggling to see how Maye can stand out compared to other QBs in his class, Curran notes that he fails to see Maye living up to his biggest player comparison: Justin Herbert.

"The even bigger thing is that I don't see the one thing that Drake Maye does that makes him a top-three pick and sets him apart exceptionally from a good quarterback," Curran said. "We've heard the Justin Herbert comp -- I've watched a lot of Justin Herbert just to bring myself up to date on what he looked like coming out of Oregon -- [Herbert] was a lot better in terms of arm strength, in terms of the way he delivered the ball, in terms of velocity."

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In Maye's final year at UNC, the junior threw for 3,608 yards on a 63.3 percent completion rate, tallying 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Looking at Herbert's senior season at Oregon, the first-round pick threw for 3,471 yards on a 66.8 percent completion rate, logging 32 TDs to six INTs.

"Is he Justin Herbert? Is he Mitch Trubisky? Is he Kenny Pickett? Is he Mac Jones with a better arm and less of a QB IQ?" Curran asked about Maye's potential. "To me at No. 3 there's questions, and if he drops to them, they should think whether he's the guy or just a guy."

The tall, well-built QB has shown he has elite arm strength and solid mobility, but his inconsistency leaves NFL scouts wondering what his potential at the NFL level truly is. As for where the Patriots stand on Maye, they like what they see according to Perry.

"The Patriots like Drake Maye," Perry said. "I think if you were to ask them, he would have the third-best tape in this year's class behind Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels, and they really liked his interview -- I can tell you that."

Perry added that Maye showcased confidence and leadership during his interviews with the Patriots -- two qualities New England hopes to add to its locker room.

"When it comes to Maye, I think something that sort of tickles the Patriots that they would like is that he has shown toughness as a runner in college, maybe a little too aggressive as far as that stuff goes," Perry said. "They also like his background coming from an athletic family."

Maye's older brother Luke Maye, coming in at 6-foot-8, 240 pounds, had a successful four-year stint on the North Carolina basketball team. Perry says the Patriots could sense that Drake Maye seemingly had "little-brother syndrome," meaning he was willing to scratch and claw his way to a victory.

Also in the episode:

  • Patriots use the transition tag on Kyle Dugger

  • Is the pressure too big to pass on a QB?

  • Possible free agent candidates for the Patriots