Next Pats Podcast

NFL analytics expert gives unique insight into Drake Maye's skill set

Maye's skill set should translate well to the NFL level.

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We've been talking about the quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft class for several months, and it's not going to stop because there are so many good ones available this year and the New England Patriots desperately need to upgrade at that position.

Everyone can look at the basic stats for these quarterbacks and come up with varying opinions on their strengths and weaknesses.

But what about a deeper look at what separates the top quarterbacks such as Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels?

NFL Network's analytics expert Cynthia Frelund recently joined Phil Perry on NBC Sports Boston's Next Pats Podcast to discuss some of the intricacies of Maye's skill set. The North Carolina quarterback grades very favorably in Frelund's analysis.

🔊 Next Pats: Why the NUMBERS say the Patriots shouldn’t pass on Drake Maye | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"So Drake Maye's tape showed that in college, he didn't have the best separators, so his receivers weren't as reliable as some other quarterbacks who are in this draft," Frelund said. "And with that, he was able to adjust his throwing speed at a rate that was very premium, elite, and that translates well to the next level.

"That translates well because you have to adjust to the game speed of the NFL, and you're not necessarily going to be throwing bombs down the field. You need to also adjust your speeds for intermediate throws, which is where Drake Maye really excels, and also shorter throws, which do actually matter. You can't rifle it too short to someone. They won't be able to catch it."

Maye has many of the physical tools that scouts love. He's 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds. He has a rocket arm, and he's pretty athletic, too. Frelund, in her analysis, has found that Maye's body control is impressive, too, and that's important in succeeding at the pro level.

"My (analysis) likes Drake Maye even more than that because his ability to adjust -- not just running, throwing speeds -- he's got great body control," she said. "I would say overall his body control is very, very strong, which leads to a higher projection for him, from me, than Jayden Daniels."

Maye completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 3,608 yards with 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 12 games for the Tar Heels last season. He also ran for 449 yards and nine more touchdowns.

Many recent mock drafts have Maye projected to land with the Patriots at No. 3 overall, but there's still a lot of time between now and the draft for teams to dig deep inside the numbers before making a final ranking of these top-tier quarterback prospects.

Also in this episode:

  • Why Phil is buying in on Drake Maye
  • What the numbers tell us about Maye’s potential
  • Daniel Jeremiah’s assessment of Maye
  • Full interview with Cynthia Frelund

You can watch the full episode on YouTube below:

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