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NFL Analyst Predicts Drake Maye to Start in Week 11

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New England Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett (14) speaks with quarterback Drake Maye (10) during an NFL football practice, Monday, May 20, 2024, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The 2024 NFL Draft saw six quarterbacks selected in Round 1. Six quarterbacks went in the first 12 selections, including the top three. The draft began with Caleb Williams going to the Chicago Bears. The Washington Commanders followed by picking Jayden Daniels. New England Patriots opted to keep the quarterback trend going, taking Drake Maye third overall.

Michael Penix Jr. (No. 8 to Atlanta), J.J. McCarthy (No. 10 to Minnesota), and Bo Nix (No. 12 to Denver) rounded out the Round 1 quarterbacks. The 2024 draft tied 1983 for the most quarterbacks selected in Round 1 of an NFL Draft. That original group featured future Hall of Fame members John Elway, Dan Marino, and Jim Kelly. It’s impossible to project if any of this year’s class is destined for Canton before playing in an NFL game. So when will that take place? One NFL analyst took an educated guess on when each of the six rookies will make their first NFL start.

When Will the Rookie Quarterbacks Start?

Josh Edwards of CBS Sports predicted when each of the six quarterbacks would make their starting debut. He opined that half would get the nod in Week 1, two would first start mid-season, and one would play apprentice throughout their rookie campaign.

Caleb Williams has already been named the starter in Chicago, making it an easy prediction. Michael Penix Jr. is behind Kirk Cousins on Atlanta’s depth chart. Cousins will start all season for the Falcons, barring injury or something unforeseen. But there is a bit more mystery to the other four rookies.

Edwards thinks Jayden Daniels and Bo Nix will start Week 1 for the Commanders and Broncos respectively. J.J. McCarthy was predicted to be a Week 11 starter for the Vikings, with Drake Maye joining his fellow rookies in Week 11.

Commentary on Drake Maye

Edwards wrote, “It would not be a surprise if he (Jacoby Brissett) held off Maye for the entirety of the 2024 regular season.” He even mentions a scenario in which the New England Patriots move Brissett at the NFL Trade Deadline. However, Edwards concludes that Brissett will remain with the Patriots throughout 2024.

“Brissett is assumed to stay in this scenario and Maye would make his debut Nov. 17 at home against the Rams,” writed Edwards. “Four of the final seven games are at home with the off week in there to recalibrate and create a plan for the remaining games. It is an opportunity for the rookie to create some positive momentum heading into the offseason. Brissett’s short-term deal suggests that the Patriots want the North Carolina product to be in a position to take ownership of the team in Year 2.”

Evaluation of the Timeline

New England head coach Jerod Mayo stated his quarterbacks will compete to start. Is this “open competition” sentiment sincere? That remains to be seen. As discussed on Patriots Football Now last week, Mayo needs to be careful about making more statements that prove untrue. If Mayo already decided Brissett will start Week 1, saying so is not a negative. Fans and media alike are more apt to be annoyed by Maye not starting if he appears to win a reportedly open competition.

The Patriots are in an interesting situation. They shouldn’t worry about starting the quarterback that gives the team the best chance to win in a given week. That’s what makes predicting when Drake Maye will make his first NFL start so difficult.

Drake Maye should make his first NFL start when having him start is best for Maye’s long-term development. Some quarterbacks benefit by sitting for a season, possibly longer. Others take a beating by starting immediately but benefit from it. Troy Aikman and Peyton Manning are two such examples.

The last New England quarterback drafted this high was Drew Bledsoe in 1993. He began his rookie season by losing 7-of-8 starts. Bledsoe won his final four starts of the season. He made his first Pro Bowl in 1994. By 1996, he helped lead the Patriots to an AFC Championship.

If Jerod Mayo is believed, the New England Patriots have yet to start a timetable for Drake Maye to become the starter. It could happen in Week 1, Week 11, or 2025. The important thing is the franchise realizes this decision should not be predicated on winning any particular Sunday. Maye’s success over the next decade is what each decision in New England should be based on. It’s up to the Patriots organization to get it right.

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