2024 NFL Draft: Drake Maye is not the hype of Caleb Williams, but the UNC star QB poised for greater success

Why North Carolina star QB Drake Maye could land in a better situation in the NFL than USC star quarterback Caleb Williams as both are top 2024 NFL Draft prospects.
Duke v North Carolina
Duke v North Carolina / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

With just two games left in the season, North Carolina Tar Heels star quarterback Drake Maye has a big decision looming, a decision that may seem obvious on the surface, but the sophomore quarterback hasn’t declared for the 2024 NFL Draft yet.

With NFL Mock drafts running rampant and the Caleb Williams vs Maye quarterback debate heating up, could there be a chance Maye doesn’t declare for the draft following his sophomore season? 

Well, he would be crazy not to, but with North Carolina sitting with two losses this season and following out of College Football Playoff contention, is there a chance Maye stays another year in college to take care of some unfinished business?

Drake Maye would be one of the faces of the 2024 NFL Draft

If he’s leaning in either direction, he certainly isn’t giving anything away right now.  It’s a big decision and one that could change all those mock drafts if he shockingly doesn’t declare.

“I think it’s tough.  I think there’s some decisions a little bit, probably a month or two away, that you have to make,” Maye said in regards to declaring for the NFL Draft.  “I think really my parents and my brothers are really the minds that matter the most, and just trust my gut and what I think is right and what I think is best for me.”

There are quarterback hungry NFL teams who hope his gut leans him towards the NFL.  With elite play during his two seasons at the University of North Carolina, what he has shown on the field certainly says he’s ready.

Depending on which team is in position to draft him, Drake Maye who be entering the NFL with a chance to change the face of an organization.  Imagine if that team is the New York Giants or New England Patriots.  The latter would be the most intriguing of the two but going from North Carolina to a big market team with high expectations is something Drake must think about as well, but in no way should that deter his decision about entering the draft.

2024 NFL Draft: Caleb Williams or Drake Maye?

In looking back to the Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III draft back in 2012, Caleb Williams and Drake Maye present a similar debate.  One quarterback in Williams is considered a once in a lifetime commodity given his ability to emphasize in the pocket, and the other is a signal caller with potential to be great.

While the Indianapolis Colts made the better long-term decision by selecting Luck (although he retired early), the Washington Commanders benefitted right away by selecting Robert Griffin III with the No.2 overall selection that season.  But RGIII fizzled and ended up out of the league.  Could Williams have a similar feat, or will he be the next Patrick Mahomes to enter the NFL?

With that being his ceiling, the pressure on Williams will be greater than that of Drake Maye, although the UNC star QB he is making a claim as the top quarterback entering the draft according to ESPN draft expert and enthusiast Mel Kiper who acknowledges the difference in the two quarterbacks, but recognizes the gap is not big.

“Caleb has a chance to be one of the higher-rated quarterbacks I’ve had when we are all the way finished with the process – in that No. 5-10 group,” Kiper told the New York Post.  “Drake will be just slightly below, if you go by today.  There’s not a huge gap there.”

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There is still some college football to be played and half an NFL season, but with teams like the Chicago Bears, Giants and Patriots looking like they will be in that Top 5, Maye will have an opportunity to transform the offensive promise of one of those teams.