North Carolina QB Drake Maye has had NFL fans buzzing over his potential ever since he stepped onto the field as a freshman. The Tar Heel quarterback has amassed over 5,000 passing yards in his career and over 50 total touchdowns, matching his hype with production. When can the talented signal-caller enter the NFL Draft?
NFL Eligibility Rules
In the NFL, players become eligible for the draft after completing at least three years of college football or are three years removed from graduating high school. They must also declare for the draft by a specific deadline, which is typically in January of the year they wish to enter the NFL Draft.
Since Maye started playing college football in 2021, he would be eligible for the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, provided that he chooses to declare for the draft.
Maye has already been featured highly in every mock draft for the 2024 Draft, and presumably, he will submit his name for consideration. Maye is expected to be a top-five pick when he does declare for the NFL.
Drake Maye Scouting Report
There’s a reason Maye is projected to go so highly in the draft once he declares. Maye’s scouting report, per PFN’s Ian Cummings, reveals a tantalizing prospect with the ceiling of a highly successful NFL quarterback early on in his career.
- 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 arm elasticity off-script, sustaining velocity
- 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 when reacting to breaks and reading zones
- Can work left to right on progressions and consistently leads his eyes with his feet
- Can quickly recognize optimal leverage and matchups on deep attempts
- Has a willingness to take calculated risks but can also take what the defense gives him
- Shows off great spatial feel and outlet awareness when navigating the pocket in phase
- Has exceptional accuracy and situational placement to all levels to negate contact
- Can seamlessly layer velocity, loft, touch, and vault passes into tight windows
- Competitive toughness and poise show up both as a pocket operator and a runner
- Still has considerable room for mechanical growth, mainly with footwork and base drive
- Tends to stand too tall in his stance, inhibiting forward hip drive on release
- Sometimes crosses his feet, exiting phase when pocket navigating, sourcing instability
- Footwork pace and spacing can be too segmented, and base width is inconsistent
- Tall, narrow base sometimes forces him to widen late in reps when time is scarce
- Narrow base and lack of proper hip drive can tug some passes low and behind receivers
- Tendency to slide laterally in the pocket can cause him to drift into pressure
- Occasionally hesitates and misses opportunities with delays on his trigger
- Field vision, progression speed, and anticipation are not yet elite
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