The NFL Draft will begin on April 25, 2024. We take a look at Drake Maye, one of the top quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft scouting reports.
A former five-star recruit out of high school, Maye chose to play football close to home for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. The decision may have been an easy one considering the connection UNC has to his family. Drake’s father, Mark, played football at UNC from 1983-88, and his mother also attended Chapel Hill. He has three brothers: two who played basketball for UNC (Luke and Beau Maye), and Cole, who played baseball for the University of Florida. Drake himself was a phenomenal basketball player but chose the gridiron, where he was the No. 1 player in the state of North Carolina in his class.
Maye won numerous awards during his tenure at UNC, including ACC Player of the Year in 2022, ACC Rookie of the Year, ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year, and a Walter Camp National Player of the Year semifinalist. He has started a total of 26 games for the Tar Heels, appearing in four during his true freshman season. During these seasons, he combined for 611 completions, 7,929 yards, 62 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions.
Drake Maye, Quarterback, University of North Carolina
Name: Drake Maye
Jersey: No. 10
School: University of North Carolina
Class: Redshirt Sophomore
Weight: 230 lbs
UNC QB Drake Maye does a great job of eye manipulation here. Doesn’t commit to the skinny post visually, looks off the safety and almost no-look rips the ball in behind him for 6. pic.twitter.com/dSc5tOKVIp
— Eric Wells (@EWells_NFL) November 21, 2023
Maye’s arm talent, deep throw accuracy, and poise pop egregiously on his film. He leads the FBS in Big-Time Throws, a statistic originated by PFF and defined as “a pass with excellent ball location and timing, generally thrown further down the field and/or into a tighter window.” Maye’s film is littered with these plays to the point where he looks like a created player on an NCAA video game.
Multiple boxes checked by Drake Maye on this throw: impeccable footwork, big time arm strength, and pinpoint accuracy. pic.twitter.com/Mc2qb8mlNz
— Eric Wells (@EWells_NFL) November 22, 2023
To go along with his arm talent, accuracy, and touch, Maye possesses smooth footwork. This could be an ode to his past as a basketball player, where he averaged double-doubles at Myers Park High School. While he isn’t extremely sharp with his footwork like Trevor Lawrence, his calm, water-like approach to his dropback has no negative effect on his delivery of the football.
In addition to the list of elite traits, Maye has underrated mobility. He’s a quarterback who not only throws the ball well but also possesses high-end athletic ability, truly a dual-threat talent. He doesn’t panic when things around him collapse but instead pivots and makes the off-platform throws teams look for in quarterbacks nowadays. He won’t separate from a large amount of NFL players, but he can do well enough to get necessary yardage.
Though very miniscule in the grand scheme, Maye does occasionally check out and throw the ball to the defense. In evaluation, this looks like it could be due to a lackluster offensive line and weapons, but there’s no excuse. These issues can be corrected at the next level.
Maye also occasionally falls victim to ghost pressure and moves into danger. This is another problem that could be attributed to the offensive line. Nevertheless, though, he will need to keep this habit from becoming a normal tendency. After all, it can’t be guaranteed that his future NFL team will have a strong offensive line.
Pro Comparison: Justin Herbert
When it comes to size, play style, and arm strength, Maye reminds me of Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. While Herbert didn’t have the buzz that Maye does coming out of college (or high school; Herbert was a three-star recruit), they mirror each other’s abilities very closely.
Draft Projection: Top-Three Pick
Drake is a franchise-altering quarterback prospect. He can hit every throw you want a quarterback to hit and provides the rushing ability that has become paramount in the NFL. Any team that is looking for a quarterback would love to have Maye as their guy. Teams at the top like New England, Chicago, and Las Vegas are most likely to pursue the Carolina product.
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