Photo by Bernard Gagnon

With an unusually early draft pick, Patriots take chance on new QB

John LaPierre


Staff Writer


It’s that time of year again; the 2024 National Football League draft is upon us. After a long 74 days following Super Bowl LVIII, in which the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime, football is finally back. 

After any Super Bowl, draft rumors start swirling around. The New England Patriots held the third overall pick in this year’s draft, only the eighth time The Patriots have drafted with a top-five pick in the Super Bowl era. In recent years, the Patriots have struggled to find the right gemstone with their first-round selection. In 2018, they selected offensive tackle Isiah Wynn at pick 23 and Sony Michel, a running back, at pick 31. In 2019, they struck out in selecting N’Keal Harry, a wide receiver, at pick 32. Harry was a major disappointment – posting just 700 career yards and 5 touchdowns to date – amid a draft class with future All-Pro receivers A.J. Brown and Diontae Johnson. 

The Patriots didn’t have a first-round pick in 2020, and in 2021 they selected Mac Jones, a quarterback, at 15. The Patriots traded Jones to the Jaguars in March for a sixth-round pick. In 2022, The Patriots drafted offensive guard Cole Strange at pick 29. In last year’s draft, The Patriots selected Christian Gonzalez, a cornerback who had a terrific start before ending his rookie season with an injury, at pick 17. Gonzalez was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month in September, just a week before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

This year, The Patriots are in a unique position at three, and pundits have speculated for months whom The Patriots will select. LSU QB Jayden Daniels? UNC QB Drake Maye? Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr? Might The Patriots trade back and sell their valuable pick to another desperate team? Overall, this draft class is deep, and every position is loaded with talent and skill. 

The teams with the first two picks were The Chicago Bears and The Washington Commanders. The consensus first-overall pick for the Bears was quarterback Caleb Williams, who started his collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma but transferred to the University of Southern California as a sophomore. The Bears, with a QB room led by Tyson Bagent following Justin Field’s departure, drafted Williams and surprised no one.

Jayden Daniels, who was drafted second by the Commanders, played three years at Arizona State University and his final two at Louisiana State University. That left The Patriots likely to draft Drake Maye, who played for the University of North Carolina. But rumors had swirled that The Patriots could potentially pick a different quarterback: JJ McCarthy, who is coming off a national championship at Michigan. The Patriots could also take Marvin Harrison Jr., son of Hall of Fame Colts receiver Marvin Harrison, and dominant receiver in his own right (6’3, 209lb with 67 receptions for 1211 yards and 14 TDs in his senior year).

Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, and Drake Maye are all phenomenal players in their own ways, and their stats speak for themselves. Williams put up 266 completions on 388 attempts for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions in 2023. Daniels threw 236 completions on 327 attempts, racking up 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. Maye threw 269 completions on 425 attempts for 3,608 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. 

With the 3rd pick in the 2024 NFL draft, The New England Patriots selected Drake Maye, quarterback, University of North Carolina. 

As a 6’4, 230lb quarterback with elite arm strength, Maye is athletic with a pro-ready frame some analysts have compared to Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Maye will fill a much-needed hole in the post-Mac Jones Patriots QB room, competing for a spot with journeyman Jacoby Brisset. Still, following an abysmal 4-13 Patriots Season, the question is: will Maye be enough?