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North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye turned heads during his two years as a starter for the Tar Heels. He showed enough that he’s projected to be a top five pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. What has evaluators so excited about his game?

Drake Maye scouting report

Oct 14, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) runs against the Miami Hurricanes in the first half at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 14, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) runs against the Miami Hurricanes in the first half at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Background

College: North Carolina

Age: 21

Height: 6’4

Weight: 230

Awards: ACC Player of the Year (2022), ACC Offensive Player of the Year (2022), ACC Rookie of the Year (2022), All-ACC First Team (2022), All-ACC Second Team (2023)

Maye was a four-star recruit out of Myers Park High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was the fourth-ranked quarterback in the Class of 2021 after Quinn Ewers, Caleb Williams, and Sam Huard. After initially committing to Alabama he flipped to stay in-state at UNC.

With Sam Howell as an established starter, Maye redshirted his true freshman year. He won the starting job in camp the next year, after Howell left for the NFL. He ended up having a breakout season, getting UNC to nine wins for the first time since 2015.

Despite having lucrative NIL deals on the table Maye stayed at UNC for his redshirt sophomore year in 2023. His numbers weren’t quite the same, with the emergence of running back Omarion Hampton leading to the offense involving the run game more. Still, early in the year Maye had his team angling for a playoff spot, before going 2-4 down the stretch.

For more player breakdowns, scouting reports, and all things 2024 NFL Draft, check out the 98.5 The Sports Hub Draft Hub page

  • Stats

    Passing
    Year School Conf Class G(S) Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rate
    2021 North Carolina ACC FR 4(0) 7 10 70.0 89 8.9 1 0 177.8
    2022 North Carolina ACC rFR 14(14) 342 517 66.2 4321 8.4 38 7 157.9
    2023 North Carolina ACC rSO 12(12) 269 425 63.3 3608 8.5 24 9 149.0
    Career 30(26) 618 952 64.9 8018 8.4 63 16 154.1
    Rushing
    Year School Conf Class G Att Yds Avg TD
    2021 North Carolina ACC FR 4 6 62 10.3 0
    2022 North Carolina ACC rFR 14 184 698 3.8 7
    2023 North Carolina ACC rSO 12 112 449 4.0 9
    Career 30 302 1209 4.0 16
  • Strengths

    –Has the build of an NFL quarterback

    –High-velocity thrower to multiple parts of the field

    –Doesn’t lose much as a passer outside of the pocket or on the run

    –Consistently worked deep into his progressions when reading the field

    –Can make plays with his legs, and will be tough to tackle in the open field

  • Weaknesses

    –Inconsistent accuracy

    –Mechanics fall apart at times

    –Refuses to give up on plays, which leads to ‘hero ball’ and many high-risk decisions

    –Has room to grow as a touch passer

    –One of the less-experienced quarterbacks in this class, with his 26 college starts the fewest among the projected top-100 quarterbacks

  • Video breakdown

  • Player comparisons

    Ceiling: Justin Herbert

    Middle: 2019-2020 Ryan Tannehill

    Floor: Daniel Jones

  • Bottom line

    Maye has a chance to be an electric playmaker in the NFL. The biggest question is how some of the out-of-structure risks he took at UNC will translate from the ACC to the pro game. He’ll be best in a system that prioritizes big plays and is O.K. risking turnovers to get them.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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