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UNC Football: Drake Maye projected #3 overall in SB Nation’s latest NFL Mock Draft

A recently released mock draft has the Carolina star heading out west.

North Carolina v Pittsburgh Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

We are now a few weeks into the NFL regular season, and now outlets are able to feel out where players could end up landing in the 2024 NFL Draft. UNC quarterback Drake Maye has long been thought to be a top-five draft pick, and apparently one of the writers for SB Nation agrees, because he projected that Maye will go as the third-overall pick to the Las Vegas Raiders.

A bit of background: the Raiders parted ways with Derek Carr in 2022, and now Jimmy Garoppolo has taken control of their offense. So far that’s been sub-optimal, mostly because Garoppolo has thrown for more interceptions (6) than touchdowns (5). Bringing in Garoppolo is a move that feels more like a temporary solution than a long-term one, so them looking for an elite quarterback via the draft isn’t surprising. The most notable weapon that Maye would have if the Raiders did draft him is long-time Green Bay Packer Davante Adams, who in four games currently has 397 passing yards and three touchdowns.

An important note in SBN’s mock draft is that USC quarterback Caleb Williams is projected to be picked #1 overall by the Chicago Bears. While there could be a debate about who the real #1 pick should be, it truly works out in Maye’s favor that Williams is still thought of to be the best quarterback in college football (I have no strong opinions on the debate personally). The Bears have had a terrible run when it comes to quarterbacks, which I discussed back when Mitch Trubisky was drafted by them in 2017. Their current situation is that they found a way to ruin Ohio State product Justin Fields and will likely look to replace him after the 2023 season concludes. There is more than enough proof to show that Maye getting drafted by the Bears would be a disaster for his NFL career, so hopefully our mother site is onto something and they will just stick with picking Williams instead.

There’s still a lot of college and NFL football left, so expect to see a lot of names moved around before the draft takes place in April. Until then, what do you think of Maye’s current projection in the SB Nation mock draft? Let us know in the comments below.