On Wednesday, December 27, North Carolina will play their last game of the season in Charlotte (Duke’s Mayo Bowl vs. West Virginia). With Drake Maye being one of the top prospects in the 2024 NFL draft, it’s time to take a look at three potential landing destinations for the star quarterback.

UNC is coming off a 8-4 record this season. Although his statistics were not as high as last year, Maye still had an incredible year, throwing for 3,608 yards and 24 touchdowns. At just 21 years old, Maye is the ideal size for a NFL quarterback, standing 6 foot 4.

2024 Draft Class

Many of the top players have still to officially declare for the draft. Yet, the expectation is that all the names we are seeing atop the mock draft boards will be moving up to the next level. There have been eyes on this year’s class for a few years now. That’s largely due to the generational quarterback pool.

USC’s Caleb Williams is a safe assumption to be the first overall pick. That’s where things can get tricky. The Carolina Panthers currently have the worst record at 1-11. However, due to last year’s trade, the Chicago Bears own their pick. Do the Bears need or want a QB? They just drafted Justin Fields. Of course, we still have the NFL combine, player pro days, and team meetings ahead of us. Much can change in that time. Still, I believe Maye will be the next quarterback taken after Williams.

To further emphasize how deep (and potentially special)  this class is, three of the four Heisman Trophy finalists this season are quarterbacks. None of them are named Caleb Williams or Drake Maye (Jayden Daniels, Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr.)

Come April, we can see as many as 10 NFL teams in need of a new quarterback.  Here are three NFL teams that have a good probability of selecting in the top five picks of the NFL draft, where Drake Maye will likely be taken.

  • New England Patriots

    Mac Jones may be handing his #10 jersey to another #10. With Jones expecting to be gone in New England, the Patriots will be one of the many teams interested in Maye. Their record also indicates they will have a top pick. What makes this equally intriguing is the fact that Maye could come into the Patriots at the same time as a new coach.

     

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  • New York Giants

    This would be a fantastic landing spot for Maye. Daniel Jones is out for year with his knee injury. The Giants could once again use a fresh start. Maye has many of the characteristics of a tough traditional Meadowlands quarterback, much like Phil Simms or Eli Manning. Maye has the demeanor, confidence, and intangible attributes to be the new face of this franchise.

     

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  • Minnesota Vikings

    Here’s the wildcard of the bunch, and perhaps a stretch. Why? Because the Vikings will have to trade and move up to have a realistic chance at Maye. Crowd-favorite Kirk Cousins tore his achillies and doesn’t have the long-term contract to fall back on. Furthermore, head couch Kevin O’Connell was a NFL quarterback himself. A young guy coming and developing under his tutelage would be a welcomed change that sets up Maye with support and success. It also doesn’t hurt when you a guy like Justin Jefferson in house to throw the ball to.

     

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