Wednesday, May 22, 2024

2024 NFL mock draft roundup: Where is North Carolina QB Drake Maye predicted to go?

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The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off next week. Hundreds of college players will hope to hear their names called in Campus Martius Park in Detroit during the three days of the draft. One of those players who will likely hear their name called early in the draft is North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye.

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The son of former World League of America Football (WLAF) quarterback Mark Maye and younger brother of Tar Heels basketball star Luke Maye, Drake Maye started at quarterback for two years at North Carolina. He earned ACC Player of the Year honors in 2022, led the conference in passing in 2023 and finished the 2023 season third in the FBS in total offense per game.

As a prospect, Maye’s prototypical size at 6 feet, 4 inches tall and 223 lbs. and arm strength at just 21 years old makes him one of the more enticing prospects in the draft. He has reliable mobility outside of the pocket, too, evidenced by his collegiate 42 rushing first downs on third and fourth down. In a draft without USC quarterback Caleb Williams, he’d likely be in consideration for the first overall pick.

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But with Williams the consensus top pick, where will Maye go? Here’s what experts from USA Today, NFL.com, ESPN, The Ringer and The Athletic predict:

Drake Maye 2024 NFL draft predictions

Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY: No. 5 to the Minnesota Vikings (via trade with the Los Angeles Chargers)

Middlehurst-Schwartz: “[Vikings] Quarterbacks coach Josh McCown coached Maye at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, and it’s easy to see why Minnesota would be excited about adding a rocket-armed signal-caller comfortable operating on the move, especially as the franchise turns the page from the Kirk Cousins era. For Maye, there might be no better situation for his development than learning under McCown and Kevin O’Connell while having Justin Jefferson on the receiving end of his deep bombs and Christian Darrisaw keeping him clean.”

Peter Schrager, NFL.com: No. 3 to the New England Patriots

Schrager: “Despite lots of smoke that New England could trade down, I believe this new Patriots regime will be comfortable with either Jayden Daniels or Maye. Pats brass took Maye out for steaks the night before his Foxborough visit earlier this month, and those guys loved the Charlotte native. That said, they also loved their top-30 visit with Daniels. I think they’re fine with whichever one falls to them.”

Field Yates, ESPN: No. 3 to the New England Patriots

Yates: “I am firmly of the belief that the Patriots should not trade down from this pick and should take a quarterback, regardless whether it is Maye or Daniels… While he had a lesser year in 2023 compared to 2022, I still see all the traits for him to be a franchise quarterback. And New England needs one after finishing 30th in yards per attempt last season (6.1). The Patriots must use the rest of this draft to surround Maye with wide receiver and offensive line help.”

Danny Heifetz, The Ringer: No. 3 to the New England Patriots

Heifetz: “With Williams and Daniels off the board, Maye falls into the Patriots’ lap. He is a prototypical NFL quarterback who doubles as a playmaker from the pocket and on the run. New England already has Jacoby Brissett on board for 2024 and can let Maye sit and learn the NFL game on the bench.”

Nick Baumgardner, The Athletic: No. 2 to the Washington Commanders

Baumgardner: “Maye is still growing as a passer, particularly in his consistency processing from the pocket. When you stack him up next to Jayden Daniels, though, Maye’s strengths are stronger and the weaknesses are similar. This will be a preference decision for Adam Peters and the Washington front office. For me, Maye is QB2.”

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2024 NFL Draft odds: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

According to latest NFL Draft odds from BetMGM, Maye’s the favorite to be the third overall pick. Looking to wager? Check out the best mobile sports betting apps offering NFL betting promos in 2024.

Maye’s the favorite for the third overall pick (-130). He’s second in odds for the second overall pick (+175) behind LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels.

When is the 2024 NFL Draft?

Where: Campus Marius Park at Hart Plaza in Detroit, Michigan

When: April 25-27, 2024

Cable TV: ESPN, ABC, NFL Network

Streaming: NFL+; ESPN+; fuboTV

How to watch: Catch the NFL Draft this year with a subscription to fuboTV

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