Coach Doubts QB Prospect's Top 10 Worth

Drake Maye's Draft Prospects Stir Mixed Reviews

by Nouman Rasool
Coach Doubts QB Prospect's Top 10 Worth
© Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Verizon

As the 2024 NFL Draft approaches this Thursday night, the anticipation builds around North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye, who is projected to be picked no later than third overall. Amid the fervor, however, there is a significant divergence in opinion within league circles regarding his immediate readiness for the professional ranks.

In a recent article by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, several league personnel shared their final appraisals of Maye. A quarterbacks coach, choosing to remain anonymous, expressed reservations about selecting Maye in the top 10.

"I wouldn’t take him in the top 10," the coach stated. "I just don’t know if he’s ready now to go take over." This sentiment finds echo in the words of retired NFL player and analyst Merril Hoge, who candidly remarked that drafting Maye could be a risky move for any team, suggesting, "He is the kind of player that will get you fired." Similarly, ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky and Mel Kiper Jr.

have advocated for Maye to spend time developing as a backup, drawing parallels to Jordan Love's initial years with the Green Bay Packers. Despite these concerns, Maye's raw talent remains undeniable. A scout lauded his arm capabilities but noted his inconsistent accuracy.

"His arm talent is crazy," the scout told Feldman. "He has a lot of upside. But he misses layups. He’s just not a naturally accurate passer."

Patriots' Draft Dilemma

The New England Patriots, holding the third overall pick, are frequently mentioned in connection with Maye.

Experts like Mark Daniels of MassLive consistently tout him as the logical choice for the Patriots, given their setup with veteran Jacoby Brissett poised to mentor the newcomer. An offensive assistant coach suggested that the Patriots should prepare to start Brissett for the foreseeable future, indicating that Maye might need time to refine his technique.

"His feet are all over the place," said the assistant. "He’s off-balance. Everything is a run-around play." Despite the mixed reviews, the Patriots are reportedly firm in their decision to keep the third pick, only willing to trade it for a historically significant offer.

This steadfastness reflects their comfort in selecting their preferred quarterback, whether it be Maye, Jayden Daniels of the LSU Tigers, or J.J. McCarthy of the Michigan Wolverines. As DraftKings Sportsbook pegs Maye as the favorite at -300 odds to be the third pick, the NFL community watches closely.

While the Chicago Bears are anticipated to select Caleb Williams of the USC Trojans first overall, and the Washington Commanders are believed to favor Daniels at number two, the true test for Maye will begin once his name is called and his professional journey officially starts.