Patriots Talk Podcast

Why Merril Hoge prefers Jayden Daniels to Drake Maye in draft

The NFL running back turned analyst had some interesting takes on the available QBs.

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While some view quarterback prospects Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye as interchangeable at the No. 2 and No. 3 slots in the upcoming NFL Draft, former running back Merril Hoge has a more extreme view -- that Daniels is the most "ready-made" QB available, and drafting Maye is the type of move that will get someone fired.

Hoge joined NBC Sports Boston's Tom Curran on the Patriots Talk Podcast to discuss what makes Daniels more pro-ready, and why drafting Maye would be such a catastrophic move.

"There's really two things, and they're entwined as one," Hoge said of the traits that make a quarterback successful at the pro level. "It's really a guy that processes things quickly and effectively and is accurate, and that's where it starts."

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Hoge broke down the many differences between college ball and the NFL, between rule changes and play styles, noting that those two listed traits are some of the only things that stay the same. In Hoge's opinion, if a QB can make a smart read and hit his target, he has all he needs to succeed at the next level.

"Nobody is ever ready-made," Hoge said in response to Curran asking which QB outside of Caleb Williams is the most pro-ready. "Daniels [is the closest]. Go to the two things I [mentioned earlier], and he played in a pro-style system."

Hoge then backed up his claim of why those two traits -- accuracy and processing -- are the most fool-proof way to scout a QB by taking a look at the 2022 NFL Draft's Mr. Irrelevant: Brock Purdy.

"I never looked at Brock Purdy coming out [of college]," Hoge said, adding that he decided to look at his college tape after he started playing well at the NFL level, which showed he contained those two traits. "Nobody knows everything and it's not a perfect science."

Moving past Daniels, Curran redirected the conversation to discuss the other likely candidate to be selected by the New England Patriots at No. 3 -- Maye, to which Hoge quickly showed his distaste.

"That kid will get you fired," Hoge said of selecting Maye. "I wouldn't touch him. Let's talk about the two things I just mentioned -- processing and accuracy -- I cannot think of someone as erratic as I have seen at every level."

Using completion percentage as a rough estimate to gauge accuracy, Daniels completed 72.2 percent of his throws to Maye's 63.3 last season.

"At the end of the day, [Maye] is always going to be inconsistent an erratic," Hoge said as he compared the UNC product to Malik Willis and Will Levis, adding that the UNC product is not worthy of a first-round pick.

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