Maye’s mechanics may make some move away, and not take Drake, but Robert Griffin III says: “You either have that dawg in you or you don’t, Drake Maye(North Carolina) has it”

Why Drake Maye could be most polarizing player in 2024 NFL Draft
from Michael Gallagher, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com

There may not be a more polarizing player in the 2024 NFL Draft right now than North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye.

Some pundits, like Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus, believe he could go as high as second overall to the Washington Commanders. Others, such as Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports, have him falling outside of the top five. As he’s been meticulously studied, the same issue keeps being brought up as Maye’s toughest challenge in transitioning to the NFL: his mechanics.

Some scouts are concerned by the drop in Maye’s completion percentage, which fell from 66.2 in 2022 to 63.3 last season, in addition to him struggling to make reads beyond his first and getting his feet settled in the pocket.

“His accuracy diminishes as he moves through progressions, (it’s) a very fixable issue,” a private QB coach told The Athletic. “However, in a non-developmental league, it needs to be fixed immediately, and this can only be done through on-field reps.”

Other scouts have pointed to Maye’s throwing motion and pocket awareness as problem areas.

Because of his size (6-foot-4, 230 pounds), Maye tends to wind up more than other QBs in this class, bringing his arm back further to load up before his release. That release is also a bit slower than other passers, resulting in him taking more sacks than he probably should.

However, Maye’s wind-up is what allows him to generate the power he does on his passes, which some coaches feel is an acceptable tradeoff for not having a quicker release time.

“He’s just a bigger guy; sometimes those levers just take a little bit longer,” another coach told The Athletic. “I don’t see anything glaring in terms of his release time. People may say it might be a little too slow. I would disagree. I think that it’s proficient in order to be successful. Not to compare him with Josh Allen, but I would say that Josh Allen is someone who’s not lightning-fast with their release, but you can still be very successful.”

Maye has prototypical size and many of the tools — arm strength, spacial awareness, ability to run a hurry-up offense, comfort level as a pocket passer and willingness to take what the defense gives him — to succeed in an NFL offense.

This close to the draft, potential high picks are often overanalyzed and harshly criticized. In Maye’s case, there appears to be a significant difference of opinion between scouts and position coaches.