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Purple & Gold Prospects: Drake Maye Scouting Report

Welcome to Purple & Gold Prospects!

This will be an ongoing series to get Vikings fans familiar with upcoming draft prospects. The focus of this series will be to cover prominent prospects entering the upcoming NFL Draft. The series will center on the position groups of highest need on the current Vikings roster, but will also cover stand-out players across the spectrum. I hope you will join me on this continuing journey to learn more about upcoming draft classes.

With that let’s discover the possible future of your Minnesota Vikings!

Background

Height: 6040

Weight: 230 lbs

Drake Maye was a 5-star recruit out of Myers Park High School. Maye originally committed to Alabama in 2019. He would decommit from Alabama and head to UNC in 2020. In his one full season at UNC he amassed 4321 yards passing, 38 TDs, and 7 INTs with a 66.2% completion percentage. He also added 698 yards on the ground along with 7 rushing TDs. Projected as a possible 1st round pick out of high school he is considered the number 2 QB in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.

Games watched: Clemson 2022, Georgia State 2022, Notre Dame 2022, Oregon 2022, Virginia 2022

Strengths

Maye is a strong runner. He displays good contact balance and toughness to grind extra yards. Maye is also underrated in his playmaking ability to extend plays, make throws downfield or pick up yardage with his legs. Avoids tucking and running and instead keeps his eyes downfield looking for open receivers. Maye has moments of excellent play diagnosis on the run. He shows impressive change of direction ability and is elusive in the open field for his size. Maye is a very good full-field reader, going through progressions, hitting the correct routes as plays develop or taking his quick outs when needed. Maye also has great arm strength with the ability to drive balls to any level down the field. He is a good short-game operator and swivels his hips quickly to align himself with the pass. When kept clean his footwork and mechanics are excellent and hits his dropbacks relatively quickly. Keeps his feet moving and has a very solid base when delivering the ball. He is a nice accurate passer on the run and off-platform. Maye is an extremely accurate tight window passer and his placement on deep balls can be absolutely outstanding. He displays good poise in the pocket and will deliver passes with oncoming rushers. Maye also does a very good job changing arm angles and trajectories to deliver throws with great ball placement.

Weaknesses

While he has very good athleticism he isn’t the most elusive when escaping the pocket. Often falls to first contact instead of shrugging off defenders as he shows in the open field. Maye is decisive when he tucks and runs but can misdiagnose plays and lanes will close on him before he is able to hit them. Maye’s play tends to dip a decent amount with pressure and has lapses in his mechanics. He can also drift in the pocket at times leading to negative plays. I would like to see Maye tuck and run a little less and stick in the pocket more often. Maye can be a little flat-footed at times when he is not feeling pressure whether that pressure is actually coming or not. He occasionally has a little extra hitch in his step which can delay his release. Maye also has a couple of short game miscues even with good mechanics, missing quick screens to the designated receiver. He could also do well to put a little more zip on his release occasionally. Maye also tries to play a little too much hero ball at times trying to do too much on plays instead of relaxing and getting into rhythm.

So far in 2023

Although he has led the Tar Heels to a 4-0 record, Maye is off to a slightly rocky start. He has accumulated a nice 1187 yards with an impressive 72.7% completion rate, but he only has a 5-4 TD to INT ratio. He appears to be trying to do too much. UNC does have a new OC this year and it may be just adjusting to the new offense, but we will have to see if he gets more comfortable as the season progresses. Still he has positioned himself nicely to be the second QB off the board in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Grade

Accuracy: 14 / 15

Decision Making/Mental Ability: 13.5 / 15

Mechanics: 12.8 / 15

Touch/Trajectory: 14 / 15

Arm Strength: 9 / 10

Athleticism: 8.8 / 10

Durability: 9.8 / 10

Pocket Presence: 8.1 / 10

OVERALL: 90.1 – Mid First Round

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