Patriots Make Drake Maye Happy in Proposed WR Trade

In an effort to make Drake Maye as comfortable as possible, one NFL analyst suggests that the New England Patriots should target one of the rookie QB's former college weapons.
Could the Patriots potentially target one of Drake Maye's former WRs?
Could the Patriots potentially target one of Drake Maye's former WRs? / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots can't afford to fumble Drake Maye's development. After forcing the fanbase to deal with three seasons of Mac Jones blunder after blunder, the Patriots finally have a promising quarterback who's shone a light on the franchise that hasn't been seen since Tom Brady left town.

But as much natural talent as Maye possesses, he can't lift the Patriots out of the shadows on his own. Management must give him the proper tools — from a protective offensive line to reliable weapons — if they want the 21-year-old signal-caller to reach his ceiling.

New England has done a good job at building around Maye this offseason, but there's always room for improvement. That's why one NFL analyst proposes that the Patriots should target one of the former UNC product's old college weapons to help with his transition to the professional level.

Patriots Rumors: New England to Target WR

Bleacher Report's Kristopher Knox wrote an article about reuniting seven QB-WR duos. When it comes to the Patriots, Knox suggests that the franchise targets wide receiver Antoine Green, who was drafted 219th overall by the Detroit Lions last year.

Green, 24, spent five seasons at the University of North Carolina with the final two being played alongside Maye. The 6-foot-2, 199-pound showed flashes of potential throughout his first three years in the program, however, his best performance coincided with Maye becoming the starting quarterback two years ago.

During the 2022 NCAA college football season, Green registered career highs in receptions (43), receiving yards (798), and touchdowns (7). The 18.6 yards per reception he averaged ranked No. 2 in the ACC for the second season in a row, playing a big role in the Lions drafting him towards the end of the 2023 draft.

So, why would the Lions trade Green just over a year after drafting him?

For starters, his rookie performance wasn't anything special. Despite appearing in nine of Detroit's games, Green was limited to just 106 offensive snaps while playing another 71 on special teams. He failed to make the most of his short-handed playing time, seeing just two targets for one reception and a single receiving yard.

Secondly, the Lions might not have a spot for him on the roster once training camp wraps up. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jameson Williams, Kalif Raymond, Donovan Peoples-Jones, and Tre'Quan Smith are all ahead of Green on Detroit's depth chart due to their experience, meaning he'll likely be on the roster bubble battling it out with the likes of Daurice Fountain and Tom Kennedy for the WR6 spot.

If there's a chance that he won't make the roster, the Lions could look to move Green for a future Day 3 draft pick rather than getting nothing by waiving him. It's also unlikely to come back to bite them compared to if he was a first-round talent, meaning New England might be able to convince Detroit to sell low on him.

With the offseason additions of Ja'Lynn Polk and Javon Baker, the Patriots' WR room is in a much better spot than it was a year ago. If veterans like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Kendrick Bourne can stay healthy while Demario Douglas continues his promising development, the passing game could be one of the Pats' strengths as soon as this fall.

Nevertheless, adding a depth option like Green — even if it's just for training camp competition — doesn't help. If he doesn't pan out, it likely didn't cost the Patriots much to try. But if he and Maye can begin clicking again, we could have quite the steal on our hands.

Even if the Patriots don't lane Green, Maye's outlook is quite promising ahead of his first NFL season. FanDuel Sportsbook currently lists the ex-Tar Heel as being tied for the sixth-best 2024 Offensive Rookie of the Year odds (+2000).

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