NFL scouts get early look at UNC QB Drake Maye, who could be top pick in 2024 NFL Draft

Rodd Baxley
The Fayetteville Observer

North Carolina football’s Pro Day wasn’t for quarterback Drake Maye, but it gave NFL scouts a head start on what could be in store for 2024. 

Maye, the reigning ACC Player of the Year and a projected top-five pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, embraced a secondary role Monday at the Bill Komon Practice Complex. 

Two of Maye’s former receivers – Josh Downs and Antoine Green – ran roughly 25 routes and caught passes in front of representatives from all 32 NFL teams. The pass-and-catch session lasted about 30 minutes. 

“He just jumped right in,” Green said of Maye’s willingness to help out this week. 

“He was all-go for us. Me and Josh and Drake, we just got that bond. The chemistry that we have, we knew he was gonna come out and throw us great balls and we were gonna catch it.” 

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The Huntersville native passed for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns while leading the Tar Heels to their first ACC Championship appearance since 2015. Downs and Green combined to catch 16 of those touchdowns.

Prior to UNC’s open scrimmage on Saturday, Downs said Maye was putting in work Friday night to help the wideout prepare for Monday.

“Drake’s a gamer,” Downs said. “He’s ready to work whenever. … Having Drake, it’s been a blessing.” 

Downs is projected to be a late first- or early second-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft. Green is projected to be picked between the fourth and sixth rounds. 

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Maye enters his sophomore season with heightened expectations as one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy and a highly-touted NFL prospect.

“I always be saying anything is possible with 10,” Downs said, referencing Maye’s jersey number. 

“When you got Drake back there, you can do anything you want. I love Drake, I love his arm, I love the player. He’s gonna be a top-two draft pick next year.”

Staff writer Rodd Baxley can be reached at or @RoddBaxley on Twitter.