New England Patriots

Chris Simms explains why he ranks Drake Maye as No. 6 QB in 2024 Draft

Opinions on Maye's potential vary quite a bit.

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North Carolina's Drake Maye has been the No. 2 ranked quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft class for most of the last year.

And even though LSU's Jayden Daniels and Michigan's J.J. McCarthy have rocketed up draft boards during that time, most people still view Maye in that top tier with Daniels and USC's Caleb Williams.

But not everyone.

NBC Sports' Chris Simms actually has Maye ranked No. 6 among quarterbacks in the 2024 class.

Here's his ranking:

Simms talked about all of these quarterbacks and why he ranked them where he did, during the latest episode of his podcast Chris Simms Unbuttoned.

Here's part of his explanation for Maye:

"There's things you watch, and you go, 'Wow.' If you watch the highlight package, you go, 'Woah'. You watch the highlight package and you go, 'Wow, he looks the part, he's got the prototypical size, and kind of has the look of a franchise quarterback,'" Simms said.

"... You watch the best games in his career, and yeah, you'll see a few of those (great) throws, but for every one of those throws, there's five of, like, what the hell is that throw? There's no way evaluators, coaches are going to be able to get behind Drake Maye and go 'Oh yeah, he's ready to go, he should be the No. 2 or No. 3 pick in the draft.' No way! There are too many things about his game that need to be polished, better, improved."

Simms also added: "I think there's potential here. That's where it's tough. There are some things where I go, yes, but I don't think it's anywhere near right around the corner. This would be like, hey, he needs to sit on the bench a little bit and needs to work on some real mechanical issues that he has. Going through reads, I don't think he's in the same class as the guys we talked about, and I mean all of them. I think they all go through it and do it quicker. In the pocket, he's the worst in the pocket. The worst."

Watch the full clip of Simms' analysis on Maye here:

The New England Patriots met with Maye at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last week, and according to NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry, it went pretty well.

"It's worth pointing out that the Patriots felt as though it was North Carolina's Drake Maye who conducted the most impressive quarterback meeting of the week, thanks to the energy and intelligence he displayed in his 20-minute back-and-forth with New England brass," Perry wrote.

Maye completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 3,608 yards with 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 12 games for North Carolina last season. He was a little better in 2022, completing 66.2 percent of his attempts for 4,321 yards with 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 14 games.

Opinions of Maye vary quite a bit, so it'll be fascinating to see where he's ranked as we get closer to the draft. There are some flaws in his game, as Simms highlights above, but there's also a lot to like. Not every QB has his combination of size (6-foot-4, 230 pounds), arm strength and intangibles.

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