First-year head coach Jerod Mayo believes the Patriots are in a better position to draft a quarterback than they were when the organization selected Mac Jones three years ago. Patriots owner Robert Kraft agreed with Mayo’s assessment.

A big reason behind that is because of the coaching infrastructure New England now has in place. Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt, quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney and senior offensive assistant Ben McAdoo should help Mayo greatly. Especially in comparison to how Matt Patricia and Joe Judge helped Bill Belichick during Jones’ pivotal second year.

But New England’s roster on the offensive side remains more or less the same after a 4-13 season. The Patriots signed free-agent wideout K.J. Osborn and offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor was the team’s first external free agent signing of the offseason. More or less, though, it’s been re-signing the players that were on the offense last season.

It makes for a questionable situation for any quarterback, but especially a developmental draftee like 21-year-old Drake Maye, who has been heavily connected to the Patriots.

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ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Tuesday published a story ranking the 2024 quarterback prospects in tiers. In doing so, Fowler spoke to a personnel man, who offered his opinion on Maye. The “worry” said personnel leader has feels like it has the Patriots written all over it.

“He does need some time, and there will be growing pains, but you take him because he has the most upside of everybody,” one high-ranking NFL personnel man told Fowler. “There’s major ability there.

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“I worry that if you take him and you don’t have a supporting cast and a good offensive line or receivers and he has to play right away, he will struggle early.”

Early struggles could completely hinder a quarterback’s development, as we’ve seen so many times.

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That’s not to say the Patriots, who hold the No. 3 pick, should not draft Maye if he’s available. The anonymous personnel man, and others Fowler spoke to, agreed on his high ceiling.

Mayo also shared the Patriots, if they draft their franchise quarterback, are willing to take it slow. It’s why New England signed veteran Jacoby Brissett this offseason. Brissett, who Mayo and others are confident in, presents the Patriots with a bridge-or-backup option in 2024.

But given New England’s supporting cast, the concerns about a developmental quarterback like Maye are valid.

Featured image via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images