Let’s get one thing straight before I see it in the comments: Drake Maye is not Mitchell Trubisky.
You’ll see a lot of comparisons between the two in the online Bears community, purely because they’re both North Carolina quarterbacks who wear the No. 10. Their similarities start and end there; not only is it a different coaching staff at Chapel Hill entirely, but Maye is a two-year starter to Trubisky’s one. He’s a superior prospect in terms of arm strength, pocket presence and his internal clock, and so far, Maye is 14-5 to Trubisky’s 8-5 as a starter.
What exactly does Maye do well, though? Does he live up to the Justin Herbert comparisons many people give him? Let’s explore this by breaking down one of the consensus top players in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Games scouted: vs. Notre Dame, 2022; vs. Clemson, 2022; vs. South Carolina, 2023; @ Pittsburgh, 2023; vs. Miami (FL), 2023
- Strong-armed quarterback who’s best in the pocket but isn’t a statue, either
- Showcases great velocity and distance behind his throws along with the ability to throw off-platform
- Capable of hitting targets in tight windows with the speed of his passes and his natural accuracy
- Has a strong general sense of anticipation
- Very good size at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds
- Has a sharp internal clock that allows him to determine how to place deep balls to hit targets in stride
- Offers good pocket awareness, as he does a good job of climbing and maneuvering the pocket to evade pressure
- Capable of scrambling outside the pocket to extend the play when necessary
- Athletic quarterback with very good straight-line speed, and while he won’t wow you laterally, his size and speed combination makes him an above-average mobile QB
- Mechanics are a flaw in his game right now
- Footwork throwing on the move can become too skiddish
- His follow-through and base can be inconsistent, which affects his short-area accuracy
- Sometimes works too much across his body when he throws, leaving him prone to the occasional bad throw on an easy pass
- Had a PFF passing grade of just 62.9 past his first read in 2022, which was only 65th in the country
- Prone to the occasional misjudgment when he locks down
From a physical perspective — size, athleticism and arm strength — Maye is damn close to a prototypical quarterback.
It’s easy to fall in love with his tape purely off of the upside, but he’s a more refined quarterback than a lot of people give him credit for. He offers solid situational awareness in the pocket more often than not, and he knows when to use his athleticism to scramble while scanning the field, rather than take off running right out of the gate.
Maye’s footwork will need to be cleaned up, and his decision-making will have to be corralled a bit at the next level. A lot of college quarterback struggle with full-field reads, though, and he’s shown enough promise in this regard to not completely scare off evaluators. He’s a talented passer who seems like a safe bet to be the No. 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.