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- Protects receivers on throws.
- Good presnap reads translates to getting the ball out quickly.
- Size and strength to make throws to all parts of the field.
- Is an underrated athlete.
- Youth shows an unwillingness to throw the ball away.
- Will try too hard to extend plays, making things worse.
- Inconsistent with mechanics on short throws leading to inaccurate passes.
- ACC Rookie of the Year in 2022.
- ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2022.
- PFF Third-Team All-American in 2022.
- PFF First-Team All-ACC in 2023.
- Second-Team All-ACC in 2023.
One of the top QBs in this year’s class, UNC’s Drake Maye has had a career to remember in Chapel Hill. A young prospect, Maye’s play and intelligence will leave you believing that he’s been doing it for years. Still, like everyone, he does have his moments where he can’t help but resort to old habits.
Well over six feet tall, Maye has the ideal size of an elite NFL QB. Coming from his size, Maye can generate power on his throws allowing him to locate the football to all levels of the field. Although his size proves him capable of being able to absorb contact, he wasn’t used too often on designed QB draws. Nevertheless, Maye is an underrated athlete who can beat first and second-level defenders to the edge, and extend plays outside the pocket. When throwing into tight coverage, Maye does a good job of allowing his receivers to make plays while not being reckless with the ball. Additionally, despite being a young prospect, Maye takes his time getting a good pre-snap read which allows him to get the ball out on time and in rhythm. This also allowed Maye to protect his receivers when throwing into or near traffic.
However, there are moments when Maye’s youth shines. A terrific talent, Maye sometimes tries to be Superman instead of playing simple and smart. This was displayed especially early on in his unwillingness to throw the ball away. Moreso, Maye did tend to be inconsistent when throwing the ball short. Several times he left the ball short leaving his WRs to make spectacular plays on the ball only for a small but positive gain. Continuing on his mechanics, they’re reminiscent of Justin Herbert’s arm action. While he still delivers a good ball with zip and accuracy, this shorter arm angle could lead to several batted balls for Maye, just like it has for Herbert in the NFL.
Overall, Maye is a generational talent who shouldn’t fall outside the top-5 in this year’s first round. While there may be more experienced QBs available who are a little less talented, Maye’s youth and potential should be enough to give him the edge over others.
My Two Cents
If I’m a team that needs a QB, Drake Maye is someone I’m looking at. However, with how many QBs there are this year, I wouldn’t be willing to trade away the farm for the UNC product. He’s a phenomenal prospect who’s years younger than others, but sometimes experience makes up for youth. Still, if I’m a team that needs a QB in the top-5, I wouldn’t let him fall past that.
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