UNC’s Drake Maye drafted third overall: Tar Heel quarterback bound for Patriots

Detroit, MI – University of North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye was selected third overall in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. Maye becomes Carolina’s 25th first-round draft pick, which is the most in the state. He also becomes the Tar Heels ninth first-round pick since 2008, which ranks third among ACC schools.

UNC quarterback Drake Maye. (photo by Gene Galin)

“This is a dream come true and something I’ve been working towards for a long time,” said Maye. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my family and friends, who have been with me through all the good times and bad. I’m very lucky to have the support system I do and I can’t thank all the coaches, teammates, staffers and everyone else involved enough. I’m thrilled to be part of the Patriots organization, and I truly appreciate them trusting me to lead the franchise into the future. I got to live out a dream playing at North Carolina and now I get to do it in the NFL with New England. I can’t wait to get started and get back to playing ball.”

Maye is the 10th North Carolina quarterback selected in the NFL Draft and the 252nd Tar Heel chosen overall.

“It’s been an absolute joy to coach Drake Maye and we couldn’t be more excited to see him drafted in the first round by the Patriots,” said UNC head coach Mack Brown. “I’ve been lucky enough to watch Drake grow up in the Carolina family and we’re so proud of how he’s represented both his family and the Tar Heels. As a player, he’s smart, accurate, dedicated and loves the game. He’s a great teammate and someone people gravitate towards. He’s got the ‘it’ factor and I think New England very lucky to have him.”

A starter for two seasons in Chapel Hill, Maye finished his career with his name scattered throughout the Carolina record books. For his career, he went 618-for-952 for 8,018 yards and 63 TDs, while rushing for 1,209 yards and 16 TDs. Maye ranks fourth in school history in total offense (9,227 yards), fifth in passing yards, fourth in passing TDs and sixth in completions.

A two-time All-ACC selection, Maye burst onto the season as a redshirt freshman in 2022, when he became only the second player in ACC history to sweep all four major awards (ACC Player of the Year, ACC Offensive Player of the Year, ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year), joining Jameis Winston in 2013. In addition, Maye was named first-team All-ACC, the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year, FWAA Freshman of the Year, FWAA Freshman All-American and a Manning Award Finalist.

Maye finished the ‘22 season going 342-of-517 (66%) for 4,321 yards and 38 TDs, while rushing for 698 yards and seven TDs. He became just the sixth QB since 2010 to post 4,000 pass yards, 35 pass TDs, 650 rush yards and seven rush TDs in a season joining Kyler Murray (2018), DeShaun Watson (2015, ’16), Marcus Mariota (2014), Johnny Manziel (2013) and Robert Griffin III (2011).

During the 2023 season, Maye went 269-of-425 (63%) for 3,608 yards and 24 TDs, while rushing for 449 yards and nine TDs, all while guiding the nation’s 19th-ranked rushing offense. He was a Manning Award finalist and a second-team All-ACC selection, while adding All-ACC Academic honors to his resume.