The Next Pats QB: Daniels or Maye?

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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I'm just not seeing much reason to care about how much Daniels weighs. He has 5 years of sustained durability in college and I'm curious why people think that's going to suddenly change at the NFL level.
The people hitting him in the NFL are much bigger and faster than what he saw in college. It's why Mac turned into a ball of goo.

I'm with you. The weight isn't a problem for me at all. There are tons of receivers who are built more slender too, and many of them seem to hold up just fine. He's got a big arm, can really throw it, is amazing on his feet, and has had incredible success in the toughest conference in college.

I know Mac was also highly successful in the SEC (so SEC success doesn't automatically mean you'll be good in the NFL), but he and Daniels are completely different players.
He doesn't though. He has a below average arm and it's going to limit what he can do in the NFL. He doesn't have the strength to go across the middle or to get it there deep before a defender can make a play. I hope I'm wrong because it's looking like he might be our next QB. Williams and Maye should go 1-2. I hope Chicago or Washington goes rogue but I don't see it.
 

BaseballJones

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He doesn't though. He has a below average arm and it's going to limit what he can do in the NFL. He doesn't have the strength to go across the middle or to get it there deep before a defender can make a play. I hope I'm wrong because it's looking like he might be our next QB. Williams and Maye should go 1-2. I hope Chicago or Washington goes rogue but I don't see it.
That's not what I've been reading. Just as an example:

SCOUTING REPORT: STRENGTHS
  • Put up an utterley ridiculous 2023 season - where he led in pretty much every noteworthy statistical category
  • Exceptional athletic ability with reported 4.5 40-yard dash speed. Displays natural speed and gains significant yardage as a runner with his 6’3” frame.
  • Exhibits high proficiency in pocket maneuvering, evading pressure effortlessly, and leveraging vision to find escape lanes for ground gains.
  • Impressive arm strength allowing him to target all three levels of the field with ease. Demonstrates quick release, especially on short and intermediate throws.
  • Expertise in throwing on the run, maintaining focus on downfield targets, and delivering accurate throws even across his body.
  • Sound decision-making ability, distinguishing between moments to be aggressive and those to opt for check-downs. Experienced in full-field and half-field reads.
  • Consistent drops, smooth footwork, and a compact throwing motion. Capable of stepping into pressure for accurate throws during collapsing plays.

So who knows, I guess. Some people see him with a less than stellar arm. Others see a really good arm. -shrug-
 

EL Jeffe

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The people hitting him in the NFL are much bigger and faster than what he saw in college. It's why Mac turned into a ball of goo.
This is very confusing. Is there some magic threshold where if he weighed x amount, Daniels isn't going to turn into goo? What does Mac have to do with Daniels? They couldn't be more different.

And the guy played in the SEC. Sure NFL teams will be bigger and stronger but there are plenty of plenty of big, fast and strong players in that league and Daniels basically destroyed them. And it's not like he's going to run at the same rate in the NFL.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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This is very confusing. Is there some magic threshold where if he weighed x amount, Daniels isn't going to turn into goo? What does Mac have to do with Daniels? They couldn't be more different.

And the guy played in the SEC. Sure NFL teams will be bigger and stronger but there are plenty of plenty of big, fast and strong players in that league and Daniels basically destroyed them. And it's not like he's going to run at the same rate in the NFL.
Wow. Slow down. NFL teams have better players overall than college teams. These are grown men who have been in professional weight training programs. Mac turned to goo because he got hit by those individuals. I would hope Daniels has a better constitution but that was my point. Getting hit in college is nothing like getting hit in the pros and some guys either fall off mentally like Mac or get hurt.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Saying Daniels has a below average arm is just wild to me.
Watch the games. Look at the angle of trajectory. Look how many times he throws over the middle. Watch how much time the WR has to make a play when the balls in the air. Those little things are what’s getting me. It’s what I overlooked with Jones. (Yes, I’m SJH level scarred from watching the last couple years)
 

EL Jeffe

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Wow. Slow down. NFL teams have better players overall than college teams. These are grown men who have been in professional weight training programs. Mac turned to goo because he got hit by those individuals. I would hope Daniels has a better constitution but that was my point. Getting hit in college is nothing like getting hit in the pros and some guys either fall off mentally like Mac or get hurt.
Sorry I didn't mean to come off as abrasive. I don't think Mac turned to goo solely because he got hit too much. I actually think Mac is physically pretty tough. I think he turned to goo because of a whole combination of factors. If there was a toughness issue with him I think it was more mental.

To Daniels credit, he did a better job of protecting himself as the season went on. I think he learned his lesson. I hope so for his sake. But not because he's 210 pounds but because punishment is punishment no matter the weight.
 

brendan f

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Right now, if it was between Jaylen Daniels and JJ McCarthy, I'd take McCarthy. On the fence about Maye.
I don't really get the argument for him over Daniels. To me, even without the rushing ability, I'd still take Daniels over him. Harbaugh has been blowing so much smoke ("the best QB in the draft," on his Pro Day, "best I've seen a quarterback throw it") that I think people are getting carried away. This stuff about his incredible poise and his ability on 3rd down...it's hard to believe it's real. Also, on the Athletic chat I didn't understand the comp to Cousins at all. I've heard Alex Smith and that makes a lot more sense to me.
 
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Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Sorry I didn't mean to come off as abrasive. I don't think Mac turned to goo solely because he got hit too much. I actually think Mac is physically pretty tough. I think he turned to goo because of a whole combination of factors. If there was a toughness issue with him I think it was more mental.
I don't know. The video of him screaming after his ankle injury does not look like a guy whos physically tough... he also completely crumbled under any pressure whatsoever after that.

edit: either way this is about our new QB whoever he may be. Enough talk of the former.
 

Cellar-Door

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Daniels arm is definitely no better than average, below average is not an un-reasonable argument in terms of NFL starting QBs where the average arm strength has been rising. Daniels throws a gorgeous slot fade, but he's not a guy you see drive the ball into tight windows. He has the worst arm of the top 5 QBs by a decent margin) I don't think his arm strength is one of the top 3 concerns with him, but it isn't slam dunk good NFL arm. I also wonder how it will look on the move, Daniels rarely throws on the move at LSU, and he'll need to in the NFL. Some guys don't lose a ton (Caleb) but others do, and if Daniels is one of those guys it's a concern.
 

EL Jeffe

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Daniels arm is definitely no better than average, below average is not an un-reasonable argument in terms of NFL starting QBs where the average arm strength has been rising. Daniels throws a gorgeous slot fade, but he's not a guy you see drive the ball into tight windows. He has the worst arm of the top 5 QBs by a decent margin) I don't think his arm strength is one of the top 3 concerns with him, but it isn't slam dunk good NFL arm. I also wonder how it will look on the move, Daniels rarely throws on the move at LSU, and he'll need to in the NFL. Some guys don't lose a ton (Caleb) but others do, and if Daniels is one of those guys it's a concern.
I think a lot depends on how you define "arm." Is it arm strength? How hard you can throw? Arm means different things to different people. Daniels probably has the cleanest throwing motion and quickest release in the class. He's also generally accurate with good ball placement. Is that part of his arm consideration? If you have a long windup or inconsistent mechanics, none of the other stuff matters (or at least matter as much).

Fwiw, I don't have issues with his arm strength or velocity. I think he has more than enough to make the throws an NFL QB needs.
 

MuellerMen

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I don't really get the argument for him over Daniels. To me, even without the rushing ability, I'd still take Daniels over him. Harbaugh has been blowing so much smoke ("the best QB in the draft, "on his Pro Day, "best I've seen a quarterback throw it") that I think people are getting carried away. This stuff about his incredible poise and his ability on 3rd down...it's hard to believe it's real. Also, on the Athletic chat I didn't understand the comp to Cousins at all. I've heard Alex Smith and that makes a lot more sense to me.
As I said, I don't know much. I'm not being defensive - I've very little idea how to project college quarterbacks into the NFL. I was happy with the Mac pick, so that says a lot about my eye for quarterback potential. I think I miss Brady so much that buzzwords like "poise" and "being able to step up in key moments" triggers me silly.
 

nighthob

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This is very confusing. Is there some magic threshold where if he weighed x amount, Daniels isn't going to turn into goo?
It’s not weight per se, it’s the frame. I come at this from a basketball scouting background, of course. But there we look at the shoulders, hips, wrists, and ankles. And he’s narrow everywhere. With his rather reckless running style, how many hits is he going to be able to take? Because much bigger guys get blown up/out regularly.
 

EL Jeffe

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It’s not weight per se, it’s the frame. I come at this from a basketball scouting background, of course. But there we look at the shoulders, hips, wrists, and ankles. And he’s narrow everywhere. With his rather reckless running style, how many hits is he going to be able to take? Because much bigger guys get blown up/out regularly.
It's not like he's Chet Holmgren or scrawny at this point. He also majorly reined in his running style as the season progressed. He wasn't a reckless runner the back half of the year.

While Daniels is QB2 for me, I recognize he has areas to improve. But some criticisms just feel made up to me. I don't care about his weight, his wrist size or his arm. Will he get hurt? He's an NFL player. They all get hurt. Is he more prone to getting hurt because of his narrow bone structure or whatever? I'm not buying that and again, if there's any study out there that shows a correlation, I'd love to see it (honestly, I would).
 

TheRealness

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The league’s rule changes (including the recent hip drop tackle ban) also have seen skinnier guys like Devonta Smith be targeted earlier by teams because the league just isn’t as violent any more. Skinnier guys may or may not be more at risk, but the fact the league is slowly turning it into two hand touch football is also very important in weighing that alleged risk.

I prefer Maye, but have come around to the idea that Daniels is an elite QB prospect and they should draft him if Maye goes 2.
 

rguilmar

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If there is any football study that shows any correlation between weight and susceptibility to injuries, I'm all ears. I'm not aware of any.
I recall there being talk last draft season about quarterbacks weighing under 205 lbs and their lack of success in the NFL. It was in regards to Bryce Young iirc.

I found this from a CBS article:
If Daniels ends up weighing less than 205 pounds, he'll join a group of QBs without much NFL success. In fact, only five signal-callers under that weight have started at least 14 games in a single season since 2000, according to Yahoo Sports.

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/news/2024-nfl-combine-results-measurements-qb-winners-losers-as-jayden-daniels-skips-j-j-mccarthy-adds-weight/amp/

I prefer Daniels to Maye just slightly, but there is some reason for concern when it comes to Daniels’ weight.
 

brendan f

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As I said, I don't know much. I'm not being defensive - I've very little idea how to project college quarterbacks into the NFL. I was happy with the Mac pick, so that says a lot about my eye for quarterback potential. I think I miss Brady so much that buzzwords like "poise" and "being able to step up in key moments" triggers me silly.
The thing is, I could see the Patriots falling for McCarthy. He fits an AVP offense very well, probably better than Daniels. McCarthy has good mobility, excels in the play action, and can make plays out of structure. That isn't Daniels' strength. Daniels is more of a traditional pocket passer. He can run but he isn't good at making plays on the run. If you start talking yourself into McCarthy's intangibles, thinking you can coach him to throw a better deep ball, all of a sudden he's a top 5 pick.

And you can almost hear Kraft thinking out loud, "the last time we picked a QB from Michigan things went pretty well." Not suggesting Kraft has any control of the draft board but I could see the Pats taking him as a consolation prize for missing out on Maye.
 

SMU_Sox

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I think this is a 2 QB class and Maye is super high risk but high reward. My board is:

Caleb Williams who I would have lumped in with Richardson, Stroud, and Young. I would have had him 3rd behind AR and Stroud.

Drake Maye but he terrifies me. I’ll elaborate later. He is someone who it is a ton of projection and betting you can fix… there is such a laundry list I will need time.

I think the best case scenario for the rest are starters but not good ones. Daniels and JJM are next to each other then a step down for Penix and two steps down for Nix.

Daniels - he is Fields 2.0 in some ways - guys who don’t process well don’t last in the NFL and he is a bad processor. He’s also injury prone and while I loved his running style on Saturday it will not last long on Sunday. I liked Daniels a lot more until i saw the all-22.

JJM - he is inaccurate to the outside, he can be jumpy and bail early in the pocket, doesn't process well scrambling, and in general doesn't get to his second read. His Bama tape was impressive- there is a chance he can grow into an above average starter but, again, that’s at the highest of his reasonably likely outcome ranges (relative to all QBs have a very high bust rate).

Penix - if it weren't for his injuries he would be higher for me as a Big Ben gunslinger type. processing and manipulation are adequate but not good enough to be more than a below average starter. Not at all a fit for their scheme.

Bo Nix: Lacks creativity and accuracy on the go. He isn't the best processor either. Doesn't see guys underneath. just generally underwheming. He's a good backup but he won't be more than an average starter if everything lines up right.


This QB class is overrated. Aside from the top two guys none of the rest have good odds to hit. None of them show that they have the potential recipe of physical and mental tools to succeed (above average starters).
 
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SMU_Sox

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quick note: when I say good odds to hit I mean relative to first round QBs (and all first round QBs are low odds).
 

Cellar-Door

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I think this is a 2 QB class and Maye is super high risk but high reward. My board is:

Caleb Williams who I would have lumped in with Richardson, Stroud, and Young. I would have had him 3rd behind AR and Stroud.

Drake Maye but he terrifies me. I’ll elaborate later. He is someone who it is a ton of projection and betting you can fix… there is such a laundry list I will need time.

I think the best case scenario for the rest are starters but not good ones. Daniels and JJM are next to each other then a step down for Penix and two steps down for Nix.

Daniels - he is Fields 2.0 in some ways - guys who don’t process well don’t last in the NFL and he is a bad processor. He’s also injury prone and while I loved his running style on Saturday it will not last long on Sunday. I liked Daniels a lot more until i saw the all-22.

JJM - he is inaccurate to the outside, he can be jumpy and bail early in the pocket, doesn't process well scrambling, and in general doesn't get to his second read. His Bama tape was impressive- there is a chance he can grow into an above average starter but, again, that’s at the highest of his reasonably likely outcome ranges (relative to all QBs have a very high bust rate).

Penix - if it weren't for his injuries he would be higher for me as a Big Ben gunslinger type. processing and manipulation are adequate but not good enough to be more than a below average starter. Not at all a fit for their scheme.

Bo Nix: Lacks creativity and accuracy on the go. He isn't the best processor either. Doesn't see guys underneath. just generally underwheming. He's a good backup but he won't be more than an average starter if everything lines up right.


This QB class is overrated. Aside from the top two guys none of the rest have good odds to hit. None of them show that they have the potential recipe of physical and mental tools to succeed (above average starters).
very interesting. Surprised you're low on Caleb, I think his arm is special. Daniels as Fields is definitely something that concerns me. I missed on Fields because I didn't recognize that being good at what he did in college and only doing that meant I was missing what he is bad at, and that did make me wonder about Daniels. Penix as Big Ben is an interesting comp, I kind of feel like he's more Leftwich in that Ben didn't care is you got in his feet, and Penix seems to need a bigger platform.
 

j44thor

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I think the most surprising thing is to hear you would have Caleb below AR who at this time last year was still incredibly raw and certainly wasn't the processor Caleb was even at this time last year and I'm not sure he is as good a processor as the top 4 this year. AR still has a lot to prove at the NFL level as well despite all world physical traits. Will he ever be more than a 1-2 read and run QB?

Look forward to your write up on Maye.

I haven't seen a ton of Daniels tape but what I've seen is a mix of good and bad so tough to say at this point.
 

RG33

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This thread is starting to surpass the V&N threads on the election for me with respect to my confidence levels swinging back and forth.

Some days I am excited at the prospect of an elite Qb prospect leading the next Patriots playoff team and then the next day I am sure that we are going to regret passing on MHJ for the next 15 years.

I am in the camp of you have to take one of the top 3 QBs. The perfect scenario to me would be an AZ or LAC trade-up to assure themselves of getting MHJ or Nabers and picking up the 35 or 37 pick in the process and then taking whomever QB3 is.

(though, I am sneakily hoping for a Caserio move this year where we take QB3 and then trade up for an elite WR or OT)
 

rodderick

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I think the most surprising thing is to hear you would have Caleb below AR who at this time last year was still incredibly raw and certainly wasn't the processor Caleb was even at this time last year and I'm not sure he is as good a processor as the top 4 this year. AR still has a lot to prove at the NFL level as well despite all world physical traits. Will he ever be more than a 1-2 read and run QB?

Look forward to your write up on Maye.

I haven't seen a ton of Daniels tape but what I've seen is a mix of good and bad so tough to say at this point.
Richardson was a very good processor though, especially for how young he was. He understood leverage very well, made quick decisions, played from within the pocket on time. His whole issue was accuracy. He was never a 1-2 read and run QB in college, so don't know why he'd become one in the pros unless that's by offensive design. If anything he could stand to take open lanes and take off running way more often.
 
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I think this is a 2 QB class and Maye is super high risk but high reward. My board is:

Caleb Williams who I would have lumped in with Richardson, Stroud, and Young. I would have had him 3rd behind AR and Stroud.

Drake Maye but he terrifies me. I’ll elaborate later. He is someone who it is a ton of projection and betting you can fix… there is such a laundry list I will need time.

I think the best case scenario for the rest are starters but not good ones. Daniels and JJM are next to each other then a step down for Penix and two steps down for Nix.

Daniels - he is Fields 2.0 in some ways - guys who don’t process well don’t last in the NFL and he is a bad processor. He’s also injury prone and while I loved his running style on Saturday it will not last long on Sunday. I liked Daniels a lot more until i saw the all-22.

JJM - he is inaccurate to the outside, he can be jumpy and bail early in the pocket, doesn't process well scrambling, and in general doesn't get to his second read. His Bama tape was impressive- there is a chance he can grow into an above average starter but, again, that’s at the highest of his reasonably likely outcome ranges (relative to all QBs have a very high bust rate).

Penix - if it weren't for his injuries he would be higher for me as a Big Ben gunslinger type. processing and manipulation are adequate but not good enough to be more than a below average starter. Not at all a fit for their scheme.

Bo Nix: Lacks creativity and accuracy on the go. He isn't the best processor either. Doesn't see guys underneath. just generally underwheming. He's a good backup but he won't be more than an average starter if everything lines up right.


This QB class is overrated. Aside from the top two guys none of the rest have good odds to hit. None of them show that they have the potential recipe of physical and mental tools to succeed (above average starters).
What are you basing Daniels being injury prone on?
 

Toe Nash

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The league’s rule changes (including the recent hip drop tackle ban) also have seen skinnier guys like Devonta Smith be targeted earlier by teams because the league just isn’t as violent any more. Skinnier guys may or may not be more at risk, but the fact the league is slowly turning it into two hand touch football is also very important in weighing that alleged risk.

I prefer Maye, but have come around to the idea that Daniels is an elite QB prospect and they should draft him if Maye goes 2.
Well, none of the rule changes really apply to a QB, who were already protected, but who are going to take some hits regardless especially if they scramble or are used on designed runs (and for whom strength -- what usually correlates with weight -- is less important). I mean, Mahomes barely runs or scrambles during the regular season but spends a lot of time extending the play, and he gets dinged up fairly often. Mahomes is good enough on one leg that it doesn't matter, but I would be more worried about knee or ankle injuries for a guy who gets a lot of value from his scrambling threat.

That said I don't think we have any idea how durable a guy's legs are from his weight or his "frame." Daniels may not be able to truck through guys like Josh Allen does but I don't think we'd want him to try anyway.
 

MuellerMen

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzCfYqzwA5s


Good breakdown here on the good and bad of McCarthy. You can see why some teams would really like him. Fits a modern NFL offense much better than, say, Penix.
Thanks for posting this. For a neophyte like me, it was a good, simplified, and direct primer on McCarthy. He's got some fantastic traits, but it's much easier to understand now why his ceiling is such a question mark. I still like him, but definitely not at #3.

Edited for: grammar stuff.
 
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Justthetippett

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I have been coming around to being less worried about the Daniels injury issues. Avoiding injury is undoubtedly a skill, and while the NFL presents its own challenges, the SEC is about as close as it gets to the real thing. Coaches will emphasize injury risk avoidance this like crazy. I also expect him to keep adding to his frame over time, even if it's incremental and he eventually tops out at 205/210lbs.

But I would be very worried if his processing was a negative, particularly given his age and experience in college. I thought this was widely viewed as average or at least hard to decipher given the talent around him and the routes (like the slot fade) that they could get whenever they wanted.

It would also be interesting, @SMU_Sox, to get your initial thoughts on next year's QB class, since that obviously becomes more relevant if they do pass this year.
 

DJnVa

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The Athletic,on Maye: Patriots at No. 3: The pros and cons of drafting North Carolina QB Drake Maye - The Athletic

Verdict
It’s easy to envision Maye fitting in with just about any offense given his size, arm strength and mobility. He’s what a modern quarterback should look like. There are areas he needs to work on, including playing within structure and avoiding catastrophic plays that result from reckless decisions. But even at his age, he could be a day-one starter for the Patriots. Van Pelt could design a balanced offense with zone rushes and play-action passes that get Maye on the move and take advantage of his ability to scramble and throw on the run. Then, if Maye continues to develop, the offense could be designed more and more around his arm.
 

j44thor

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Richardson was a very good processor though, especially for how young he was. He understood leverage very well, made quick decisions, played from within the pocket on time. His whole issue was accuracy. He was never a 1-2 read and run QB in college, so don't know why he'd become one in the pros unless that's by offensive design. If anything he could stand to take open lanes and take off running way more often.
The film study I followed was JT O'Sulivan mostly who didn't think he was a great processor but did show glimpses of it at times. Certainly he had accuracy issues as well but often struggled with reads. He also had poor OL play not unlike Maye but I didn't see a lot of film of AR hitting his 3rd/4th reads though he does only cover a handful of games so possible he did that more in other games.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I think this is a 2 QB class and Maye is super high risk but high reward. My board is:

Caleb Williams who I would have lumped in with Richardson, Stroud, and Young. I would have had him 3rd behind AR and Stroud.

Drake Maye but he terrifies me. I’ll elaborate later. He is someone who it is a ton of projection and betting you can fix… there is such a laundry list I will need time.

I think the best case scenario for the rest are starters but not good ones. Daniels and JJM are next to each other then a step down for Penix and two steps down for Nix.

Daniels - he is Fields 2.0 in some ways - guys who don’t process well don’t last in the NFL and he is a bad processor. He’s also injury prone and while I loved his running style on Saturday it will not last long on Sunday. I liked Daniels a lot more until i saw the all-22.

JJM - he is inaccurate to the outside, he can be jumpy and bail early in the pocket, doesn't process well scrambling, and in general doesn't get to his second read. His Bama tape was impressive- there is a chance he can grow into an above average starter but, again, that’s at the highest of his reasonably likely outcome ranges (relative to all QBs have a very high bust rate).

Penix - if it weren't for his injuries he would be higher for me as a Big Ben gunslinger type. processing and manipulation are adequate but not good enough to be more than a below average starter. Not at all a fit for their scheme.

Bo Nix: Lacks creativity and accuracy on the go. He isn't the best processor either. Doesn't see guys underneath. just generally underwheming. He's a good backup but he won't be more than an average starter if everything lines up right.


This QB class is overrated. Aside from the top two guys none of the rest have good odds to hit. None of them show that they have the potential recipe of physical and mental tools to succeed (above average starters).
Would you trade down if Maye is not there at 3? If he is there at 3?
 

ColonelMustard

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You can prefer Maye, but I don't understand how can't be excited about Jayden Daniels.

This guy LOVES Jayden Daniels and you can see why

He shows that JD (with video examples)
1. Is a game changer with his rushing ability
2. Can make every throw in the route tree
3. Has impeccable timing that cannot be coached
4. Stretches the field and his touch leads the receiver perfectly (his Slot Go routes are perfectly delivered)
5. Manipulates defenses with his eyes
6. Layers passes in between coverage pockets
7. Places throws where the receiver can make a play but defender has no chance
8. Can go through his progressions and find the open receiver (at 14:57 of the video is one example)

Obviously he has his concerns (exceptional WR talent, durability) but there is a lot to be excited about.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nk4z1jWcA4
 
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SMU_Sox

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I think with Maye you have to let ownership know in advance that this is a 3 year high risk prospect who needs a lot of time to develop. I’d also let ownership know that this is a home run swing and there is no floor. That was the case when the Bills drafted Josh Allen. He looked awful in year 1, decidedly below average in year 2, and then became who he is in year 3. Ownership has to understand the risk they would take with Maye. Compounding things is you have absolutely nothing on offense right now and this is a historically great WR class you would be passing at the top. I am torn between trading back and getting a massive haul for the pick vs taking Maye and devoting the next 3 years to improving the offense around him. It's tough because there is no guarantee he can fix his issues. Allen did but Allen is the rare breed of QB who rebounded from two bad first years in the league.


So why am I so concerned about Drake Maye?

1) Ball Placement and Accuracy.
Your bread and butter in the NFL is being able to execute in the pocket. Maye is going to fail if he can’t generate better ball placement and accuracy. What he has now is going to lead to turnovers and drive stoppers in the NFL. If you're curious about this I have a stupidly long thread of his cutups in my slack group that show just how bad/inconsistent his accuracy is. DM me and I can guide you to the thread. The dude can't throw it correctly to a receiver moving horizontally. He is always behind. Part of that is mechanics but part of that could be he just lacks anticipating where a guy will be if they are moving left to right vs vertically. Accuracy is hard to fix! Ball placement is hard to fix! For every beautiful deep fade he nails he will have 3-4 outright misses on routine plays. He seriously can't throw a fucking out right to save his life! He makes the routine look hard and the hard look routine. His deep accuracy is also spotty. To a degree everyone's is but he has too many throws that are 5-10 yards overthrown or OOB. Giant caveat that there are clips where he actually does all of this well - the issue is consistency. Consistency is crucial to good QB play though!

1b) Accuracy on the move is spotty
For a guy who makes his living throwing on the run he misses way too many open throws on the go. Oh he will hit his fair share but he misses way more than you would think given his lofty stats. As usual the ones he misses are going... left to right :( (Hint: watch him vs NC State and Clemson, i.e. better competition).

2) Footwork
Part of why Maye is so inaccurate is his footwork sucks. He drifts into pressure so much. He makes life so much more difficult for himself because of his happy feet. He is captain heel-click. Not just that but he drifts AWAY from his protection. It's maddening. You do this in the NFL and you will be getting sacked early and often. There are times when the protection is a slide to the left and he drifts so far right he is passed the RT and gives the edge rusher a free look at him. Yes, that bad! No it wasn't a naked bootleg either. He needs to completely tear down and rebuild his footwork from the ground up. Too often his feet are not set or not right when he is throwing the ball leading to inaccurate passes.

3) Hitch in his delivery
He has a bit of a windup which impacts when he gets the ball out. That could be why he is behind guys too. It's just one more thing to fix. Remember, now we are fixing his upper and lower body mechanics! Fun stuff for a guy who some have as the best QB prospect coming out since T-Law.

4) Doesn't know when to throw the ball away
Drake Maye plays hero ball and it leads to some risky throws. He needs to learn when to throw it away and live to play another down. He makes throws that he can get away with in college and maybe in the NFL too with his arm strength but the quality of defenders he will face in the NFL are so much better than the ACC.

5) Doesn't get the ball out on time or throw with enough anticipation.
There are clips where his first read is open and he double clutches. This happened a lot vs NC State and vs Clemson - when he was facing better competition. I know his offense was bullshit this year and his receivers weren't as good but an open man is an open man and there are no excuses for not just hitting your open guy. Stay on schedule! Hesitation = death in the NFL. You don't have to be Tua but his timing and rhythm game is not at all where it needs to be. This might be the most concerning trait because if you don't trust your reads you're never going to succeed.

6) Doesn't always process post-snap movement.
This one applies to his in-pocket structure work but definitely applies to when he is on the go. He doesn't always know that an underneath or close-by defender he isn't locked onto can easily break off and pick him off. He had 1 pick and 2-3 dropped picks from this kind of stuff. It overlaps a little with his hero ball antics but it is the dark side to creating out of structure. You see this to a degree in structure too where he will miss robbers or dropped back ILBs.

Drake Maye's ability to create out of structure, his downfield accuracy (even though it has room for improvement), ability to go through progressions, his physical build and arm strength, and betting he can be more consistent are reasons to take him at 3. To get there though he needs a lot of work and he might not ever get there. This isn't even an exhaustive list of his negatives.

So would I take him at 3 or trade-back? It really depends on if ownership wants to take this risk or not and if they are in that this will be a 3 year experiment and the first 2 years might look bad.
 

SMU_Sox

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Daniels is too often a 1 read and run guy. I can't tell you how many times Nabers and Thomas were open if Daniels had just been more patient. All of the QBs being discussed have some great traits. None of them are the complete package. Fields could also hit every throw and had the most accurate ball placement I had seen. His issue was processing. Daniels has the same flaws. Fields was a lot younger too. Processing is a skill that gets better for the best QBs but you also expect 5th year starters to showcase that a higher level than Daniels. He reminds me of year 1-2 of Lamar Jackson who also lit up the college scene. Lamar though by year 3 was a pocket passer and looked to stay in the pocket and not scramble. Daniels hasn't shown me the kind of growth as a processor that I want to see and he is an older guy already. It's one thing to me to bet on a younger player to improve, like Maye or JJM.

My grade on Daniels is going to be a 7.0-7.5. I think he is a starter you can win with but unless he can stay healthy and be surrounded by elite receivers he is never going to produce like a top 5-10 guy. He might not even produce like an average QB. Fields, for example, was 25th with Y/A last year and he had a decent supporting cast. He ran well, and Daniels will run well, but Daniels got knocked out of the Bama game. He was injured during the end of the season in 2022 as well. He doesn't have the size to hold up taking the hits that he does. He sometimes avoids contact but more often than not he wants to lower his shoulder and finish a run. While that is admirable and a treat to watch on Saturdays it's not going to work on Sundays.

Would you take someone you don't think can elevate his teammates or consistently be an above average starter without a lot of help at 3? Add in his playstyle, lithe build, and penchant for taking big hits and my answer is no.
 

SMU_Sox

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AR was a bet on how special he could be if he developed. That is why he was my 1,1. It was a projection. He did a lot more of the things I wish Maye did.

Caleb scares me because he is too reckless and needs to play within structure more consistently. I absolutely like him though. I also really liked Stroud though and to be fair he looks pretty good so far. Williams will be somewhere between 1,3 and 1,4 on my board.

As for WRs:

I have 8+ grades on (in this order): Nabers, MHJr/Odunze (tied with the edge going to MHJr), Brian Thomas.
I have first round (7.99-7.75) grades on: Xavier Worthy, Keon Coleman (I might end up with an 8+ on him - because for the right team like the Bengals or Rams he will be a fucking beast).

I love Troy Franklin but he is a tier below. AD Mitchell is also someone I like but he has a lot of things to clean up.

Overall this is a SPECTACULAR receiving class. At least 5 of these guys are higher ranked than my #1 guy last year.
 

BigSoxFan

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I thought I was all-in on picking a QB at #3 and now SMU goes out and ruins it (kidding)! Will be very interesting to see who falls to 3 and what offers Pats get. If their evaluations of Daniels/Maye are close to SMU’s, they may be tempted to trade down although I still think they’re going best QB available with the pick.
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
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I thought I was all-in on picking a QB at #3 and now SMU goes out and ruins it (kidding)! Will be very interesting to see who falls to 3 and what offers Pats get. If their evaluations of Daniels/Maye are close to SMU’s, they may be tempted to trade down although I still think they’re going best QB available with the pick.
Last years class was cleaner. With Young the question was could his game translate to the NFL at his height and weight and middle of the pack athleticism. With Stroud it was if his out of structure work we saw in 2-3 games could be more consistent. AR was the big projection. Levis was also a huge ? and his in-pocket work was the issue as well as how he handled pressure. As you know I was out on Levis but I loved AR and Stroud and really liked Young. With Stroud and Young we didn't have as many questions about them as pocket passers. This year the top 4 guys have major question marks as pocket passers! Williams I feel the most comfortable projecting forward. The rest of them have more warts/holes in their games than the guys at top last year minus maybe AR to a degree. JJM and Daniels as potential top 3 picks absolutely baffles me.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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SMU is amazing, but I'm sticking my fingers in my ears and I'm going la la la la. I want a QB and he's going to be great. Sorry. I'll be back to tell you told you so in February 2027.
 

Shaky Walton

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I thought I was all-in on picking a QB at #3 and now SMU goes out and ruins it (kidding)! Will be very interesting to see who falls to 3 and what offers Pats get. If their evaluations of Daniels/Maye are close to SMU’s, they may be tempted to trade down although I still think they’re going best QB available with the pick.
SMU’s posts were quite sobering. I have a few friends who are huge Pats fans, have analyzed the QBs in terms very similar to him and are praying that the Pats do not take either. I was trying to shut them out of my thought process because I want a QB…and now I’m back to hoping for MHJr! Ugh!
 

BigSoxFan

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SMU’s posts were quite sobering. I have a few friends who are huge Pats fans, have analyzed the QBs in terms very similar to him and are praying that the Pats do not take either. I was trying to shut them out of my thought process because I want a QB…and now I’m back to hoping for MHJr! Ugh!
The hard part for me is that I am super confident in MHJ and Nabers being studs, barring injury or off the field stuff. I also don’t trust McCarthy so nobody outside of Caleb really interests me that much at QB.
 

E5 Yaz

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Last years class was cleaner. With Young the question was could his game translate to the NFL at his height and weight and middle of the pack athleticism. With Stroud it was if his out of structure work we saw in 2-3 games could be more consistent. AR was the big projection. Levis was also a huge ? and his in-pocket work was the issue as well as how he handled pressure. As you know I was out on Levis but I loved AR and Stroud and really liked Young. With Stroud and Young we didn't have as many questions about them as pocket passers. This year the top 4 guys have major question marks as pocket passers! Williams I feel the most comfortable projecting forward. The rest of them have more warts/holes in their games than the guys at top last year minus maybe AR to a degree. JJM and Daniels as potential top 3 picks absolutely baffles me.
Sorry if I missed it, because you always give us so much to digest, but given you call this a stacked WR class and Maye/Daniels have question marks ... do you trade down? take Alt? take Nabors/MHJ? or just say the heck with it and take QB3?
 

Justthetippett

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Aug 9, 2015
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Sorry if I missed it, because you always give us so much to digest, but given you call this a stacked WR class and Maye/Daniels have question marks ... do you trade down? take Alt? take Nabors/MHJ? or just say the heck with it and take QB3?
Trading down and targeting a WR is a little risky unless it's the NYG. And even then there's a chance that Nabers and MHJ go 4-5 and you're left with WR3. But maybe WR3 and double dipping for OTs in R2 with the NYG pick you add for moving back from #3 could work.

To be honest I was hoping for a better assessment of the QBs!
 

SMU_Sox

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@E5 Yaz depends on what the front office and ownership want to do. If they have a 3 year plan and understand it could easily take that long with Maye but want to take the home-run swing? Go with Maye. If they are out on Maye then I trade down and take probably an OT first then a WR while getting a massive haul. I wouldn't take JJM or Daniels at 3.

I also might trade back into the top 7-8 like my buddy Matt St. Jean did at Pats Pulpit and snag Odunze or Nabers. I would normally try and take an OT but the top 3 WRs are just a tier or two better than the LTs. If it were closer I would lean OT because they are harder to find. Odunze, Nabers, and MHJr are the best 3 WR prospects since I have been doing this. Personally I would go Nabers then MHJr/Odunze. I can buy any of the three as best in class. Odunze has more to work on than MHJr but his ceiling is also higher. Guys his size shouldn't be able to move like him (same goes for Nabers). I'd also have to think about Brian Thomas vs an LT. As I mentioned to a couple of you his aspirational archetype is Randy Moss. I love Thomas.
 

yalesoxfan

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Well, this stinks. How do next year’s QBs look? They could take a lot of offensive weapons this year, ride with Brissett, go 5-12, and then go for a QB next year.