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Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels? Both have pros and cons for Patriots fans

Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels: What Patriots fans should like about the quarterbacks -- and what the
Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels: What Patriots fans should like about the quarterbacks -- and what the 06:54

FOXBORO -- The NFL Draft is less than a month away, but it's still unclear what the New England Patriots will do with the third overall pick. The general consensus is the Patriots will draft a quarterback, but will they end up with Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye?

That all depends on what the Washington Commanders do with the second overall pick. Caleb Williams is expected to be drafted first overall by the Chicago Bears, and many draft pundits believe the Commanders will go with Daniels at No. 2. That would leave Maye for the Patriots, though the Patriots could go in a different direction and draft a receiver, trade down and acquire more picks, or potentially even take Michigan's J.J. McCarthy at third overall.

But it feels more likely that the Patriots will take whoever is left over from the Daniels-Maye duo and do everything they can to put them in the best position to become a franchise quarterback. It will be up to the Patriots to really get into the nitty gritty of each and determine which one they'd prefer, and if that quarterback isn't available at third overall, then they'll have a real decision to make.

As is the case with just about every prospect, there is a lot to like about both Maye and Daniels. And there is also some things that would make a franchise a little concerned to have either as their potential quarterback of the future. ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss broke down what he really likes with both Maye and Daniels, and what concerns him about each, during an appearance on WBZ-TV's Sports Final on Sunday night.  

What Patriots fans should like about Drake Maye

One thing you see right away when you look at Maye is that he looks the part of a quarterback.

"He looks like he was built in a quarterback factory," Reiss said of Maye's 6-foot-4, 220-pound build. "When I think about playing in New England in mid-December and the wind is swirling, Drake Maye has an absolute cannon. So I like that aspect of him."

Drake Maye
Drake Maye Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

In that light, Reiss says that Maye has "a little bit of Josh Allen" in him. Maye not only has a big arm like Allen, but he can also use his legs when he needs to, rushing for nearly 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

If the Patriots can get any Josh Allen out of Drake Maye, New England fans would love to have the kid taking snaps for the foreseeable future.

What Patriots fans should be concerned about with about Drake Maye

Maye broke out in 2022 when he threw for over 4,300 yards and 38 touchdowns to just seven interceptions for the Tar Heels. But his numbers took a sharp drop in 2023, with Maye amassing just over 3,600 yards while his touchdown passes dipped to 24 for the season.

"He had a great year in 2022, but wasn't as good in 2023. So there's a little bit that he's heading the other direction," said Reiss. "And he's young and hasn't played as much."

Maye was a redshirt freshman and played in 30 games over his three seasons at UNC.

What Patriots fans should like about Jayden Daniels

Daniels was a beast on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy, throwing for over 3,800 and 40 touchdowns while rushing for another 1,100 yards and 10 scores in 2023.

He can run an offensive system, but as we all know, things don't always go as planned in the NFL. But don't worry, because Daniels is also a master improvisor when things break apart.

"He can run and make plays off script, which is what the NFL is all about," said Reiss. "Those are the hardest guys to defend."

With the New England offensive line a massive question mark heading into 2024, it wouldn't be a bad thing for the Patriots to have a quarterback who can pull off an escaping act or two.

What to be concerned with about Jayden Daniels

Unfortunately, with that improvisation comes the risk of getting hurt. And Daniels has a history of getting dinged up during games which causes him to watch some action from the bench.

Reiss watched three LSU games to get a better feel for Daniels ahead of Sunday's Sports Final, and noted that Daniels had to leave two of them.

"In two of them he as knocked out because he's a little bit slight. He's thin with a narrow frame -- 6-foot-3, 210 pounds -- so that is my concern," said Reiss.

There's only so much that any quarterback can take, and Daniels may be taking a lot of hits early in his career with the Patriots. Keeping him healthy for the long-term will be a concern for any team that drafts Daniels.

No one knows if Maye or Daniels will become franchise quarterbacks. But the Patriots are in desperate need of a new leader at the position, a situation that Reiss compares to the spot New England was in before drafting Drew Bledsoe first overall in 1993.

Reiss believes the Patriots will be taking a quarterback at No. 3, based on recent comments by owner Robert Kraft.

"They're in that Drew Bledsoe conversation," Reiss said of Maye and Daniels. "A new beginning. A new hope. They're not perfect; it's not like you draft them and you're all set. But they give you a chance. 

"Right now, [the Patriots are] looking up at the rest of the league, like they were in 1993 before they drafted Drew," Reiss added.

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