Skip to main content

Patriots HC Jerod Mayo gives first impressions of Drake Maye after minicamp: QB has 'a lot to work on'

By picking quarterback Drake Maye with the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft, the Patriots expressed their belief in the North Carolina prospect to become a potential cornerstone of the new era of football in New England, with head coach Jerod Mayo already saying that he knows his legacy as a head coach will be "defined" by the success of this selection.

And so too comes accompanying high expectations, with many hoping to get clues as to whether Maye will live up to the hype even this early just a few weeks after the selection.

But speaking Saturday after the team's rookie minicamp, Mayo's words did not feed that fire. While he praised his signal-caller's performance, he still emphasized that Maye, like all rookies at this point in the year, still has much to learn.

"Look, he has a lot to work on. A lot to work on. But I have no doubt that he will put the time in," Mayo said, via team transcripts. "You didn't see him out here yesterday, but he was here all night trying to get on the same page as everyone else."

It's only been a couple weeks since Maye heard his name called by the Patriots, and offseason workout regulations mean that his time with the team has been limited thus far, with this weekend the first chance for both him to practice on the field with teammates, and for his coaches to evaluate him, with Mayo saying that "time, that's the biggest hurdle."

For his part, Maye agreed with his coach that there's still things he can improve on and learn to succeed in the Patriots' scheme, discussing footwork and operating from under center as areas of focus. And while he knows the work has only just begun, it's on him to put in the time to get to a place of comfort in his new offense.

"It's been good, I think kind of the first day just feeling it out and just getting more and more reps," Maye said. "That's all something new takes -- getting more reps at it. … I felt pretty good out there today, so just have to keep working."

Maye is expected to be working closely with offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, with Mayo saying Saturday that he wants the OC's voice to be the lead among the QB-focused coaches in helping Maye develop.

Van Pelt, who joined the Patriots earlier this offseason after four years with the Browns, has worked with quarterbacks for most of his coaching history, including helping Cleveland to the playoffs in 2023 despite a tumultuous season where five quarterbacks started at least one game.

"[Van Pelt] played the position, he's coached a lot of different quarterbacks, he understands it, and that's the best thing you want to see from a coach," Maye said. "He doesn't expect anything right away, he knows that there's going to be a growing side, a mental side to it, so he's understanding. But also, if you're not doing your right job, he's going to tell you."

Maye will be working to earn the starting role in a quarterback room that includes a veteran in Jacoby Brissett, a six-game starter from 2023 in Bailey Zappe and sixth-round pick Joe Milton, who was also slinging it at rookie camp this weekend.

Eventually that group will have to be trimmed down as roster spots are earned, culminating in the naming of a QB1. But for now, Maye is just focusing on what he can control, not letting high expectations get in the way of the work still to be done.

Related Content