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NFL Draft Profile – QB Drake Maye

By Doug Orth | 3/31/24 |

Drake Maye


College: North Carolina
Height/Weight: 6’ 4’’/223
Hands: 9 1/8’"
Age: 22 (at the time of the 2024 season opener)

Important NFL Combine Numbers

40-Yard Dash: N/A
Vertical Jump: N/A
Broad Jump: N/A
20-Yard Shuttle: N/A
3-Cone: N/A

College Production (Stats)

High-end NFL Player Comp(s): Trevor Lawrence

Low-end NFL Player Comp(s): Drew Lock

Best Scheme Fit: Although he played in a pure shotgun spread offense, his arm strength, accuracy and anticipation would likely be accentuated in a play-action offense that utilizes a heavy dose of intermediate and deep throws.

Best Team Fit(s): Vikings, Broncos, Raiders, Bears, Commanders, Giants, Patriots

Non-bolded times - Good examples of attribute
Bolded times - Average/poor examples of attribute

Position-Specific Attributes and Grades
Attribute Att Grade Scale Examples
Accuracy 9.0 10.0

0:00, 0:47, 2:45, 3:22, 4:45, 4:56, 5:14, 20:10

2:27, 3:33, 3:45, 6:52, 8:57, 20:46

Anticipation/Tight Window 9.5 10.0

0:00, 0:56, 1:36, 1:48, 3:51, 5:14, 17:20

2:39, 18:06, 23:39

Decision Making 8.0 10.0

8:58, 22:16

3:55, 5:05, 5:16, 5:30, 9:43, 24:31

Durability 8.5 10.0


Improvisation/Throw On Run 9.0 10.0

0:00, 1:10, 4:08, 7:42, 14:38


Poise/Awareness 9.0 10.0

2:45, 8:58, 20:10, 24:31


Vision/Read Progression 8.5 10.0

0:01, 2:19, 17:20, 18:06

2:45, 3:55, 18:06, 23:39

Athleticism/Mobility 3.5 5.0

3:31, 8:39, 11:47, 15:50, 20:40

3:57, 6:23, 18:48

Arm Strength 4.5 5.0

1:54, 3:22, 3:51, 4:34, 5:23, 20:10

Film Grade 69.5 80.0

Pre-Draft Fantasy Prospect Grade* (out of 50): 39.0

* - How well does his skill set carry over to the fantasy game? For quarterbacks, a player needs to be a realistic threat for 4,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards to be a candidate for a perfect grade. Positional scarcity at the pro level is also a part of the equation.


  • Delivers a beautiful and well-placed deep ball time after time.

  • Among the best in college football at throwing over the middle of the field.

  • Very comfortable throwing into tight windows and has the arm strength to pull it off.

  • Improvisational skills are good for such a young prospect (will not turn 22 until late August).

  • Fearless in the pocket, even when he knows he is about to take a hit.

  • While he needs to add a bit of muscle, he possesses a great frame and near-ideal size to play the position.


  • Relative lack of evidence he is comfortable moving through his progressions consistently.

  • Short-range accuracy is a bit spotty, usually because he gets lazy with his footwork at times.

  • Mostly a line-drive thrower, which requires him to be almost perfect on any challenging pass attempt.

  • Possesses enough athleticism to move the chains but is far from a high-level run threat.

  • The same fearlessness that serves him well as a passer occasionally gets him in trouble as a runner.

  • Sacked once every 13.6 pass attempts during his college career (70 total).

Bottom Line

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about Maye entering his first professional season is that he will not turn 22 years of age until near the end of the preseason. While the difference between two and three full seasons as a starter may not seem like a big deal to some, it is often an opportunity for a quarterback to adjust to the adjustments defenses made to him between his first and second years. Looking at the statistical differences between 2022 and 2023, it is clear he missed the presence of a receiver who could separate as easily as Josh Downs, who declared for the draft following the 2022 season. Nevertheless, there is little question Maye has many of the traits that evaluators want to see in a top-flight quarterback prospect. He has the prototypical frame for the position and the arm talent/strength to scare defenses. He will not wilt if his protection breaks down, nor is he scared to make a throw into a tight window.

Perhaps the most alarming thing in the 300-plus throws I watched across the 2022 and 2023 seasons was how infrequently he came off his first read. While the lack of something does not necessarily make it a weakness, NFL quarterbacks often need to come off their primary receivers more times in one game than Maye appeared to across a season's worth of pass attempts. Is he comfortable (or capable?) of consistently finding his second or third option in the pattern? He shows glimpses of going through his progression, so it would be unfair to grade him poorly for it if ACC defenses were not good enough to force him out of his comfort zone very often. Maye is a good - but not great - runner, so he will not have the luxury of leaning on that part of his game early in his NFL career if his transition as a passer takes a bit. The most frustrating aspect of his tape may have been how often he was deadly accurate on throws of 40-plus yards but slightly off on a pass within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.

As one might expect from a redshirt sophomore quarterback, he puts himself and the ball in harm's way too often. He was sacked nearly 20 percent of the time he was pressured in 2023 and finished 31st in NFL passer rating (69.0) among the 72 college quarterbacks who felt pressure on at least 100 drop-backs a season ago. The biggest question with Maye is whether his biggest perceived weaknesses are a product of his youth/inexperience or something else. If the ability to consistently find his second or third options ends up not being an issue, then his prospects for being a top-tier NFL quarterback early in his pro career increase exponentially. Quality coaching should help him cut back on his occasional poor footwork and eliminate most of his forced throws. The right situation will matter more for Maye than it will for some other prospects because he is still relatively raw (which also means it will not be a good idea for him to start right away), but he has enough natural talent and makes enough good decisions that he projects to be more like Lawrence and less like Lock.

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Doug Orth has written for FFToday since 2006 and been featured in USA TODAY's Fantasy Football Preview magazine since 2010. He is also a high-stakes player who often appears as a guest analyst on a number of national sports radio shows, such as Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive." Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

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