At least one executive views NFL draft prospect Drake Maye as a quarterback with “star” potential.

“Extremely gifted athlete, best size of all the guys — confident he’s still developing with enormous upside,” an NFC executive told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, who published a story Tuesday which broke the quarterback prospects into tiers.

Maye was included in “Tier 2” along with Jayden Daniels. Only Caleb Williams, a surefire lock to be drafted No. 1 overall by the Chicago Bears, was in “Tier 1.” However, Fowler spoke to some evaluators who said Maye was on par with Williams and above Daniels.

“Can make all of the throws and is a very good athlete to create on his own as a runner and passer,” the NFC executive added. “Highly competitive. He’s got star potential.”

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New England Patriots fans surely will like the sound of “star potential.” After all, Maye has been heavily linked to New England, which has the third overall pick behind only the Bears and Washington Commanders.

Another high-ranking personnel man told Fowler: “He does need some time, and there will be growing pains, but you take him because he has the most upside of everybody.”

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Mel Kiper Jr., a draft expert for ESPN, views Maye as a home-run pick for the Patriots. Kiper has New England selecting the North Carolina product in his most recent mock draft.

However, for all those who think highly about Maye, there are others who see flaws in the 21-year-old. The praise is not unanimous. Some question how Maye will perform if his surrounding cast struggles and others question his consistency.

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“Huge upside, but way more of a project than he appears to be,” an NFL coordinator told Fowler. “Footwork all over the place, same with his eyes. Kind of just makes plays off raw talent and athleticism. Thought he would be much more polished.”

Should the Patriots select Maye with their No. 3 pick, there is a good chance they give him the time to learn and develop before they throw him into the fire. First-year head coach Jerod Mayo said the Patriots would take it slow with a young quarterback, again, should they draft one.

Featured image via Jaylynn Nash/USA TODAY Sports Images