Rodney Harrison, like so many others, believes the Patriots should take a patient approach with Drake Maye.

New England obviously believes Maye is capable of being the franchise quarterback for years to come. Jerod Mayo and company would not have selected the North Carolina product third overall in this year’s draft if it thought otherwise. But while Maye has the tools to be a great signal-caller, he still needs time to put it all together.

As such, Harrison believes the Patriots shouldn’t force the issue once the regular season rolls around.

“You don’t want to throw him out (there),” Harrison said on the “Eye on Foxborough” podcast, as transcribed by FanSided. “And I don’t have the defenses in front of me, but I know like the first six weeks of the season, he’s going to be playing against a lot of really good defenses. And if it’s me, I’m putting Jacoby Brissett out there.

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“I might have Drake learn as much as he possibly can. And then in a relief role if he needs to come in — if a guy gets hurt or something like that — he’ll be ready. But I wouldn’t throw him right out there to the wolves like that. It’s a completely different game coming from North Carolina to being in the National Football League.”

Mayo and other Patriots coaches have been pleased with how Maye’s improved since taking the practice field for rookie minicamp. But the 21-year-old still has a ways to go, and signs point to Brissett being under center for New England come Week 1.

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Maye eventually will have the opportunity to prove himself at Gillette Stadium. But for now, he should continue to soak up as much knowledge and information as he can.

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