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    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 make it a close race.

    Is North Carolina’s Drake Maye in the mix to be 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 deserves credence in the discussion.

    Drake Maye’s Draft Profile and Measurements

    • Height: 6’4 3/8″
    • Weight: 223 pounds
    • Length: 32 1/4″
    • Wingspan: 76 1/8″
    • Hand: 9 1/8″
    • Position: Quarterback
    • School: North Carolina
    • Current Year: Junior

    Succeeding former Washington Commanders and current Seattle Seahawks quarterback Sam Howell in North Carolina’s offense, 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 showed the same promise on tape that made him such a compelling riser in 2022.

    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 as high a level as anyone in the 2024 NFL Draft — and he’s just getting started.

    Maye’s Scouting Report

    Strengths

    • Tall, prototypical, well-built QB with elite athleticism and composite 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.
    • Problem-solver who’s shown he can create and keep his shoulders level off-platform.
    • 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 shown he can hit high-difficulty situational precision throws at multiple levels.
    • Competitive toughness and poise show up both as a pocket operator and a runner.

    Weaknesses

    • Though footwork pacing and sequencing have good moments, base width is streaky.
    • Tall, narrow base sometimes forces him to widen late in reps when time is scarce.
    • Inconsistent footwork can tug shoulders off proper alignment, impacting accuracy.
    • Still has room to roll his base through passes more often and avoid narrowing rotation.
    • Sometimes crosses his feet, exiting phase when navigating pocket, sourcing instability.
    • Still learning how to layer velocity with touch on bucket throws more consistently.
    • 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.
    • Missed throws can snowball into cold streaks he needs to snap out of.
    • Occasionally hesitates and misses opportunities with delays on his trigger.

    Current Draft Projection and Summary

    Maye is my QB1 in the 2024 NFL Draft and a top-three prospect along with Williams and Marvin Harrison Jr. It’s close between Maye and Williams for QB1, but Maye scored a marginally higher grade from me with his size, athleticism, arm, and leverage IQ.

    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 promising operational qualities for a young quarterback. 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.

    Maye is a measured, instinctive passer who can test defenses in the intermediate and deep ranges. He’s shown he can take what’s given in the short range and carve defenses apart in the intermediate and deep ranges 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, using his arm elasticity and angle freedom to widen throwing windows.

    KEEP READING: Top QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

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

    For Maye, the need for improvement lies in his inconsistent mechanical rhythm, base spacing, and his tendency to fall victim to cold streaks mid-game. When he’s in rhythm, he can manage the pocket, progress reads, control the pocket space and the field, and capitalize on his traits. But he’ll need to work on sustaining that rhythm.

    Maye bears similarities to Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love. 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.

    There’s some development to undergo with Maye, but he has the pre-snap autonomy and the processing and anticipation ability to safely accrue reps early in his NFL career, and with a one- or two-year runway, he can get to the level of play we saw from Love in 2023.

    Maye has all of the qualities of a franchise QB. 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, but he’d be an exceptional pick inside the top three.

    Draft with your friends today! PFN’s Mock Draft Simulator now supports multiple drafters during the same draft! Ensure your player rankings are up to date on the 2024 NFL Draft Big Board and you know what every NFL team needs before drafting.

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