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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Drake Maye (QB – North Carolina)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Drake Maye (QB – North Carolina)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye.

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Drake Maye

Drake Maye (QB – North Carolina)

6’4” – 230 lbs.

Background:

Father was also a Tar Heels quarterback. North Carolina native and four-star recruit who redshirted in 2021, then replaced Sam Howell as the team’s starting quarterback the following year. Went 9-5 with 4,321 yards (66.2%, 8.4 YPA), 38 touchdowns, and seven interceptions, adding 184-698-7 on the ground. This year, led UNC to an 8-4 record, racking up 3,608 yards (63.3%, 8.5 YPA), 24 touchdowns, and nine interceptions before declaring.

Positives:

Has been highly productive over the past two years. Tall, well-built quarterback. Plays the game with composure. Operating from the shotgun, generally maintains the width in his base at the end of his drops. Has some nuance to buy time in the pocket. Decisive player who goes through progressions quickly; was asked to make some full-field reads. Has a quick release and can drop his arm angle if needed. Gets the ball out fast in the quick game. Does a nice job of generating torque. Arm is a rifle. Has excellent zip to fit the ball into tight windows, and doesn’t shy away from tougher throws. Shows the ability to attack defenses with accuracy downfield and toward the sidelines. Knows when to take something off of his throws and has some touch to his game. Able to extend the play very effectively, and keeps his eyes downfield when fleeing or moving around in the pocket; nice mechanics when throwing on the move. Can run the ball on designed draws or take advantage of the middle of the field being open, with good athleticism and competitiveness. Ran the ball nearly two hundred times in 2022, but scaled it back a bit this past year.

Negatives:

Offense features a relatively high rate of first-read throws and quick game; a lot of slants, screens, and others within ten yards of the line of scrimmage, often over the middle of the field (over fifty percent of throws within ten yards.) Has some instances of unnecessary heel clicks at the back of deeper drops. Base can get a little bit narrow at times. A lot of his throws come when receivers are already open. Ball placement is generally good enough to complete passes, but can force receivers to make adjustments which limit yards after the catch. Deep balls toward the sideline (outside release or inside fade) can tend to sail. Can get a bit too aggressive when under pressure, leading to risky throws into tight windows down the field when a throwaway would have been appropriate. Could do a better job of protecting himself when scrambling; fights unnecessarily for minor yardage and absorbs some big hits.

Summary:

Checks pretty much all of the boxes teams look for in a quarterback prospect, with the size, composure, aggressiveness, arm strength, and athleticism to develop into a solid starting quarterback. There are times when he’ll leave yards on the field because of ball placement issues (even on throws which are ultimately caught), so it’d be nice to see him be more consistent with his mechanics to improve his accuracy. Some elements of his game (dealing with pressure, scrambling) are also a bit more aggressive than you’d like. Nonetheless, he looks advanced for a redshirt sophomore, and appears likely to come off the board high in the first round.

Projection: Round 1

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