Drake Maye’s Draft Profile | North Carolina, QB Scouting Report

Does Drake Maye have the scouting report to challenge Caleb Williams for the QB1 mantle in the 2024 NFL Draft? He can indeed make it a close race.

Can North Carolina’s Drake Maye become QB1 of the 2024 NFL Draft? That’s the question on everyone’s mind, especially with USC’s Caleb Williams at the top of the consensus board. In spite of Williams’ magical off-script ability, Maye could be the true top QB prospect.

Drake Maye Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 232 pounds
  • Position: Quarterback
  • School: North Carolina
  • Current Year: Junior

Succeeding current Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell in North Carolina’s offense, Drake Maye was a superior second act — and it’s something many expected.

The Tar Heels’ passer was a five-star recruit out of high school who jumped at the opportunity to play in Phil Longo’s high-production offense.

Maye’s 2022 campaign saw him complete 342 of 517 passes (66.2%) for 4,321 yards, 38 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. He also toted the rock for almost 700 yards and seven scores.

In 2023, Longo left, but Maye remained. And despite a slight dip in production — 3,608 yards, 24 touchdowns, and nine interceptions — Maye’s tape arguably improved.

It’s one thing to look the part of an NFL QB, and have the talent of an NFL QB. But Maye is doing NFL QB things at a higher level than anyone in the 2024 NFL Draft — and he’s just getting started.

Drake Maye Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Tall, prototypical, well-built QB with superb mobility and quantifiably elite arm talent.
  • Generates high-level velocity with effortless ease and a crisp, snappy release.
  • Can push the ball outside the numbers and past tight coverage with very little strain.
  • Has extremely fluid hip torque and legitimate 360-degree arm elasticity off-platform.
  • Possesses extremely underrated quick twitch, lateral burst, and evasive ability.
  • Has impressive control and alignment with his shoulders, both in and out of structure.
  • Has the corrective mobility and foot quickness to stabilize his base ahead of throws.
  • Displays consistent anticipation both when reacting to breaks and reading zones.
  • Can work left to right on progressions and consistently leads his eyes with his feet.
  • Boasts rare leverage awareness both as a pocket navigator and a downfield passer.
  • Weaponizes his high-level anticipation and field vision with active eye manipulation.
  • Has a willingness to take calculated risks but can also take what the defense gives him.
  • Greatly improved his pocket discipline and navigation feel as a space operator in 2023.
  • Has exceptional accuracy and situational placement to all levels to negate contact.
  • Competitive toughness and poise show up both as a pocket operator and a runner.

Weaknesses

  • Still has room to roll his base through passes more often and avoid narrowing rotation.
  • Sometimes crosses his feet, exiting phase when pocket navigating, sourcing instability.
  • Though footwork pacing and sequencing improved in 2023, base width can be streaky.
  • Tall, narrow base sometimes forces him to widen late in reps when time is scarce.
  • Still learning how to more consistently layer velocity with touch on bucket throws.
  • Will attempt to force throws with his arm strength at times when pressed to make plays.
  • Situational precision is more volatile when working out-of-structure, increasing risk.
  • Is prone to occasional ill-advised throws when forced out of the pocket by pressure.
  • Occasionally hesitates and misses opportunities with delays on his trigger.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Drake Maye is my QB1 in the 2024 NFL Draft, and a top-three prospect along with Marvin Harrison Jr. and Caleb Williams. It’s close between him and Williams for QB1, but Maye arguably has the best balance of physical talent and operational utility.

Maye and Williams have some differentiating factors within their archetypes. As athletic as Maye is, there’s simply no matching Williams’ hyper-elite creation capacity and arm elasticity off-script.

But while Williams is the superior creator, Maye is a very capable creator in his own right, with elite arm talent, spry and fluid athleticism, and effortless off-platform ability.

Beyond his natural talent, Maye shows off very promising operational qualities for a young QB. There are still a few mechanical issues for him to chip away at, and his occasional lapses in decision making can be frustrating. But overall, Maye’s mental game is just as exciting as his physical upside.

MORE: FREE Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

Maye is a measured, precise, and instinctive passer who can test defenses in the intermediate and deep ranges. He’s better than Williams at maintaining pocket discipline, staying on rhythm, and taking what’s given in the short range, and he can carve defenses apart in the intermediate range with his anticipatory high-velocity javelins.

In fact, one of Maye’s most exciting traits is his actionable field vision and anticipation. He identifies leverage advantages in coverages instantly, and he can capitalize just as quickly.

Maye actively uses his eyes to freeze DBs, has an understanding of how to open the field at his will, and has the rocket arm to take advantage. And he can also multitask and manage space in the pocket while processing the field.

Maye bears some similarity to former Oregon Ducks and current Los Angeles Chargers QB Justin Herbert. He’s a QB who doesn’t always rely on his athleticism stylistically, but has the high-end overarching tools to be a passer who elevates his squad and creates off-script, while also operating at a high level within the offensive structure.

Maye has all of the qualities of a franchise QB. But not only that, he’s one of the best QB prospects to come out over the past few cycles, rivaling names like Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow, and C.J. Stroud. He should be in the mix for No. 1 overall — and he’d be my pick.

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.

Join the Conversation!

Related Articles