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Why Drake Maye is ‘perfect' for Alex Van Pelt's Patriots offense

Why Drake Maye is ‘perfect' for Alex Van Pelt's Patriots offense originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

It might be a while before Drake Maye gets to prove himself as the Patriots' starting quarterback. But there's evidence to suggest he's set up to succeed in New England.

The No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft boasts a 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame, above-average mobility and one of the best arms in this year's rookie class. While he's still raw and had a tendency to make ill-advised throws at North Carolina, the hope is that New England can harness Maye's physical abilities and develop him into a franchise QB for years to come.

If you ask CBS Sports NFL analyst Mike Renner, Maye is in the right situation to realize his full potential, in part because of how the Patriots' offense under new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt plays to Maye's strengths.

Renner joined Patriots Insider Phil Perry on a new Next Pats Podcast to explain.

🔊 Next Pats: Why Drake Maye is PERFECT for the new Patriots offense | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"I think with Alex Van Pelt, (Maye) is the perfect quarterback for that system," Renner said. "... He is the best in this class at attacking down the football field, and knowing when to attack. I think he had the highest average depth of target of any of the top guys (in the 2024 draft class), and his ability to see windows down the football field I thought was elite.

"On paper, a lot of times routes will run themselves into certain coverages and whatnot. And he threw and adjusted his throws off of how the routes are drawn on paper better than any of the quarterbacks in this class. That's what you have to do at the NFL level to attack down the football field because the windows are so small."

Maye doesn't just have a strong arm; he also excels at varying his throwing speeds to make his passes catchable at varying depth levels. The 21-year-old also is an anticipatory thrower who can deliver a ball to a spot and essentially throw his receivers open with his ball placement.

That trait should benefit Maye in a Patriots offense that should feature a heavy dose of play-action passes and throws over the middle of the field, says Renner.

"If you watch what Tua Tagovailoa does for the Dolphins, he basically throws to space 99 percent of the time against zone. He's not throwing to a guy -- he's throwing the ball to where that guy needs to be. And I thought Maye did that the best in this (draft) class," Renner explained.

"So, that offense is going to -- when you're play-action heavy, you're having to attack this area between the linebackers and the safeties that not a lot of guys are comfortable (attacking). Not every quarterback loves to attack it.

"I thought Jayden Daniels specifically, on his tape at LSU ... was not as willing to pull the trigger over the middle of the football field, whereas Maye just had no fear. He was attacking that regardless. He was putting them into tight windows again and again on tape.

"So to me, the mesh of the offense and his talent really should be a perfect fit for as long as he's there (in New England)."

Also in this episode:

  • Is Maye’s floor higher than what most people believe?

  • Renner's grade on the other Patriots draft picks.

  • ”Ready or redshirt?”