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Drake Maye Draft Profile

Draft Season Introduction

We are officially kicking off our favorite season at the Source this week, draft season. As some of the long-time followers may be aware, every year I like to go through the QB's, RB's, WR's, LB's and CB's in the draft and give my rankings. Some of last year's highlights include ranking CJ Stroud as the #1 QB while most analysts had him as 2nd or 3rd behind Bryce Young and/or Anthony Richardson, and the placement of Rashee Rice at #2 in our WR rankings while most consensus boards had him outside the top 5. I am very excited to begin this year and the first evaluation is done, so without further ado, let's take a look at Drake Maye.


HT: 6'4"

LBS: 230

40 yd dash (proj.): 4.6

School: North Carolina (Chapel Hill)

Tape Watched: vs Miami, @ Clemson, vs Syracuse

Key Strengths

The arm talent is NFL-level and it is obvious from certain plays on film. For example, in the 1Q vs Clemson, he throws a 40-yard pass while jumping backward away from two blitzers and hits a man in stride and you can debate that it may not have even been his best pass of the quarter. He throws a very nice strong-side one-on-one deep ball although he does require a clean pocket and consistent footwork to make it happen which is not always a given, especially the latter. His footwork is clean, however, on designed play actions and rollouts, which is encouraging for offenses that rely on those plays more than others. He is solid at throwing while rolling in either direction and is accurate on intermediate drag and slant routes, sometimes in some pretty tight windows. Lastly, his rushing ability should not be understated. There are some rushes where he reminds me of Josh Allen in his ability to just shed tackles as if the people jumping at/onto him aren't professional athletes. He is best at spotting openings in the right-side B-gaps and that is where his best scrambles usually come from.

Key Weaknesses

The first and most pressing issue for me is timing throws to the margins. He is consistently throwing it just a second late when it comes to WRs on curl routes, intermediate to deep out routes, and other routes that are reliant on the ball being thrown as the receiver is breaking on the route. This is what led to his interception in the Clemson game. Secondly, the inconsistency in his footwork is alarming. His lead leg is sometimes pointing further toward the sideline than the receiver and as a result, the pass will be delivered inaccurately. Additionally, flat-footedness is an issue for Maye, there are several plays in all three games where instead of bouncing on his toes, he is throwing off of flat feet, which causes the body to be too straight up and down, which leads to a stiff delivery, an arched back during the pass and often results in passes that are sailed far too high to be considered catchable. The last problem about his footwork is that he too often defaults to backpedaling when pressured by multiple rushers which can cause the sack yardage to grow more than it needs to. He has an odd issue with screen passes, while they are still delivered in catchable areas, they are often either too high, too low, or slightly off-center for whatever reason, it may be the lack of experience with having to quickly transfer the ball, he lacks experience under center because UNC ran a lot of shotgun and pistol sets. Occasionally he will tunnel his focus down the field and become naive to a collapsing pocket, which can lead to ball security concerns.


What a lot of people fail to realize when it comes to scouting is that the question is not always "how many problems are there," it is often "how many of his problems are fixable."

I think several of the issues listed with Maye are indeed fixable with good coaching, especially the footwork and timing throw problems, which are my two greatest concerns with him. In terms of grading, his combination of size, arm talent, and athleticism make him a surefire first-round pick with good potential if coached correctly. With that being said, however, I would say I am slightly lower on him than consensus. I've seen well-respected people say that he would be a surefire QB1 in other recent draft classes and I am not sure that is the case, as I have him graded lower than I had CJ Stroud graded last year*, and while I have not finished the report on Caleb Williams yet, I feel confident in saying that I don't believe Maye is going to be competing for the QB1 spot in my rankings, as there are just too many spots I believe need to be improved upon before he can reach the"franchise-QB" level that he will be drafted to reach, and he has to be coached well early to get rid of some of these fundamental mistakes. My best guess at this point is that he ends up my QB2 and is taken in the top 5, hopefully to a team with a staff that has spotted these issues as well and is ready to address them on day 1.

Projection: Early Round 1

Talent Grade: Mid Round 1

*Player grades will be released in the position group ranking article


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