Drake Maye is receiving a clear message from Patriots coach Jerod Mayo

Drake Maye is receiving a clear message from Patriots coach Jerod Mayo


It will take some time for Drake May to become a starter for the Patriots — perhaps until the start of training camp, until the end of the preseason or until the first few games of the 2024 campaign have passed and the offense needs a spark.

But the looming — and seemingly inevitable — shift to becoming a long-term quarterback doesn’t mean the No. 3 overall pick in April’s draft has everything already figured out, and after the Patriots’ rookie minicamp session on Saturday, Giroud reiterated May this feeling told reporters.

“He has a lot to work on,” Mayo said He said. “He has a lot to work on, but I have no doubt he will make the time. … You didn’t see him here yesterday, but he was here all night trying to get on the same page as everyone else.”

Drake May was the Patriots’ No. 3 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft. USA Today Sports
Jarrod Mayo addresses reporters during Patriots rookie minicamp. AP

Maye, who spent his college career at North Carolina State, will compete with Jacoby Brissett — who returns to the franchise that drafted him after stints with the Colts, Dolphins, Browns and Commanders — to start Week 1, and Maye, the first-year coach, was careful not to drop any hints. About what New England’s plans are.

However, the risks surrounding Maye’s development are high, given that the Patriots’ most recent first-round quarterback — Mac Jones — struggled to the point of scoring only a sixth-round pick in a trade designed mostly for a fresh start.

Maye threw for 7,929 yards and 62 touchdowns over his final two seasons with the Tar Heels, but before the Patriots selected him, former New England coach Bill Belichick detailed flaws in Maye’s footwork during a segment of “The Pat McAfee Show.”

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“You can see here, he’s all over the place, never putting his feet up, never getting into a throwing position,” Belichick, who parted ways with the Patriots in January after 24 seasons as head coach, said in this clip. “He’s been undressed. Lots of moving around. Get up and throw.”

The Patriots focused on footwork on Saturday. According to ESPNMaye shared quarterback reps with sixth-round pick Joe Milton, who played for Tennessee in college.

Drake May throws a pass during the Patriots’ rookie minicamp session on Saturday. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Conn

“It’s just time,” Maye told reporters when asked what the Patriots have worked on with Maye off the field. “I mean, that’s the biggest hurdle, and then you’re operating under some Phase 2 and 3 rules where you don’t have as much as you want. So you can’t have those conversations, but look, it’s all about hard work. We talk about it all the time. And it works.” seriously.

“So the first day was kind of tough. It’s really hard to say this guy did X, Y and Z.”

Ultimately, once the Patriots progress through offseason workouts and training camp arrives, competition for the quarterback will increase.

Brissett started 15 games in 2019, 11 in 2022 and could serve as a veteran placeholder until Mayo gets comfortable with developing their rookie signal-caller.

But for now, Maye, at least, knows his head coach will be watching for improvements.

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