FOXBORO, Mass. — One of the biggest questions entering the Day 4 of New England Patriots’ organized team activities Wednesday, the second open-to-media session at Gillette Stadium, was whether or not Drake Maye would continue to take third-team reps in drills and competitions.

Well, the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, again was behind presumed starter Jacoby Brissett and second-stringer Bailey Zappe while fellow rookie Joe Milton III was absent.

Patriots first-year head coach Jerod Mayo said the staff is taking each practice individually and did not reveal how reps were divided in closed-to-media sessions. But given we’ve now seen two days with Brissett, Zappe and Maye working in that order, and both receiving more competitive reps than the North Carolina product, it’s fair to assume that’s how the split is playing out behind the scenes as well. The training wheels, at least for the time being, remain on.

Brissett was the clear frontrunner in “competitive” 11-on-11 reps. Brissett switched with Zappe and then returned behind center. Brissett then flopped with Maye before the veteran took his third set of snaps compared to one each for Zappe and Maye.

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Brissett did impress, however. An outsider who has no intel on the Patriots ongoing competition would point to Brissett as QB1. He looked the most fluid in drills, too.

“I feel like I’m getting better,” Brissett said. “Getting comfortable with the guys, obviously. I’m comfortable with this offense, I’ve been in it before. But getting re-familiar with it, and with the guys.”

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Brissett (13-for-15 in competitive periods) had two of the nicest throws of the day. A specific two-play string for Brissett included a perfectly placed ball to tight end La’Michael Pettway before he connected with Javon Baker on a toe-tapping grabbing on the sideline.

Zappe (10-for-16) and Maye (16-for-20) rounded out the competitive reps with Maye getting more work in 7-on-7 than either Brissett or Zappe. Maye, however, only saw six snaps in 11-on-11s.

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Maye continued to work on footwork and fine-tune some mechanical things, much like he did in the previous open-to-media session. His ability to correct mistakes has stood out to Brissett.

“He’s going out there and making corrections from the day before and honestly adding more things to who he’s going to become as a player,” Brissett said. “I’m excited for him. I see the work he’s putting in. He’s doing a good job.”

Here are more takeaways from Day 4 of OTAs:

— Baker, a fourth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, made a few highlight-reel catches in competitive drills. Arguably the nicest play of the day came as Baker leaped over a defensive back and hauled in a throw from Brissett in double coverage.

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“He made a couple plays today, he’s getting better,” Brissett said of Baker. “Somebody that we are looking forward to see what he can become, and he’s been doing a good job of getting better each and every day, taking the coaching from the meeting room into the field.”

— Ja’Lynn Polk and Baker again stayed late to catch passes from Maye.

— Tyquan Thornton, who likely will need a strong training camp to maintain his roster spot, had a good practice with a pair of catches from Maye during 7-on-7s. Thornton has been known to show off his burst at this point in the offseason — when players are wearing jerseys and shorts — but will need to do the same when the competitive periods become more physical.

— Chukwuma Okorafor worked as the left tackle when Brissett was under center. Rookie Caedan Wallace served as the left tackle when both Zappe and Maye were on the field for 11-on-11s, as Wallace was seen on both fields.

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— Interior offensive lineman Sidy Sow, along with Cole Strange, did not practice. Antonio Mafi and Michael Jordan were working at left and right guard, respectively, with the group that included starting center David Andrews.

— Star defender Matthew Judon again was among the absentees.

— The Patriots continue OTAs on Thursday with media set to return Tuesday for the eighth of 10 sessions. Mandatory minicamp will be held June 10-12.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images