Three NFL Comparisons for UNC Quarterback Drake Maye
Drake Maye is one of the best quarterback prospects to come out of college football since Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. He has everything physically and mentally that you could ever want in a franchise NFL quarterback. As we assess his potential at the next level, it's only natural to draw parallels with NFL quarterbacks who have left their mark. Here are three NFL comparisons for UNC's star quarterback Drake Maye.
High-End Comparison: Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer's name may not be the first that comes to mind when discussing NFL greats, but it's essential to remember just how exceptional he was in his younger years. Drafted first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2003, Palmer was an immediate impact player. In his second season, he became a legitimate MVP candidate, throwing for 3,836 yards, 32 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 101.1. This version of Palmer was the epitome of a franchise quarterback.
If we envision Drake Maye reaching his full potential, Carson Palmer is the high-end aspiration. Palmer possessed a strong arm, excellent pocket presence, and the ability to make every throw in the book. Palmer was a fantastic athlete for his size and was more of a freak than people remember. Palmer and Maye are eerily similar when it comes to their height, weight, and speed. Both are about 6'5''. 230lbs and both run around a 4.60-second 40-yard dash. These physical gifts helped Palmer achieve multiple Pro Bowl selections and playoff appearances during his career.
Carson Palmer's journey to NFL stardom was not without its challenges, and this is a crucial lesson for Maye. Palmer endured injuries early in his career, including a devastating knee injury in the playoffs during the 2005 season. However, he came back and continued to put up impressive numbers, including four 4,000-yard passing seasons during his career.
In terms of statistics, Palmer's career numbers are impressive. Over his 15-year career, he threw for 46,247 yards, 294 touchdowns, and had a passer rating of 87.9. This shows the consistency and longevity that Maye should strive for in his NFL journey.