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Heel Tough Blog: Drake Maye Selected By New England Patriots at No. 3

@Patriots- Twitter

Drake Maye is heading to the New England Patriots. After much debate about possibly trading down, the decision was made to stick at No. 3 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft and select the Tar Heels gunslinger.

He becomes the highest Tar Heels selected since Mitch Trubisky in 2017 when he went No. 2 overall. Three other Tar Heels (Ken Williard in 1965, Lawrence Taylor in 1981 and Julius Peppers in 2001) has gone No. 2 overall. Ken Huff is the only other player to go No. 3 overall.

While this might be good in terms of the money and the prestige of going as high as he did, this is far from an ideal spot for Maye to the land. The Patriots are a team that is starting from scratch after parting ways with legendary head coach Bill Belichick. The team has a lot of work to do on the offensive line and the pass catching group is one of the worst in the league. Hopefully GM Eliot Wolf will be able to find some gems in this draft that can help him out and limit the amount of responsibility that will be on his shoulders in his first season.

Maye had a huge redshirt freshman season, thriving immediately as a starter for a team that he helped win nine games for just the second time since Mack Brown’s first stint. He threw for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns to just seven interceptions while completing 66.2% of his passes. He also led the team in rushing, totaling 698 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Maye was named the ACC Rookie of the Year for his performance and finished 10th in the Heisman Trophy voting after entering the Georgia Tech game as one of the front runners for the award, the first time a Tar Heel has been in the running for the award that late in the season since Charlie Justice in 1949.

Many have criticized the year that Maye had in 2023, but it was still a rather productive one for him despite another tough finish. He helped them to race out to a 6-0 start for just the sixth time in program history and he finished the regular season first in the ACC in passing yards (3,608), total yards (4,057) and second in passing touchdowns (24) and total touchdowns responsible for (33). 

Maye finished his career with 8,018 passing yards (5th in school history) and 63 passing touchdowns (4th in school history) while completing 64.9% of his passes. He also finishes his career with 1,209 yards and 16 touchdowns on 112 carries.

Maye will now get the chance to be the Patriots next franchise quarterback as he hopes to start the next dynasty in Foxborough.


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