Vikings

Drake Maye's Arm Talent Is Worth A King's Ransom

Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Think of the best throws you’ve seen by the top quarterbacks over the past few years, the ones that made your jaw drop because only a few players possess the arm talent they need to make it.

Okay, now hold on to that thought. Some of the best quarterback duels in the NFL are when Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen throw haymaker after haymaker against each other. It’s a constant supply of How did he do that? How was he able to get that throw off? Wow, did you see that? What a play by him.

These plays aren’t the ones where they stay in the pocket and deliver strikes down the field. They’re the ones who scramble around, buy time, and find different arm angles to deliver improvised throws. It’s when Mahomes has scrambled around for 5-10 seconds and somehow delivers a pass 30 yards down the field, leaving most fans of opposing teams shaking their heads and thinking, Wow, our guy isn’t even close to that.

At least, that’s how it’s been for me.

“I watch Drake Maye, and I see his game more from the elite quarterbacks than I do with the other guys. As far as size, as far as athleticism, as far as arm strength, as far as the type of throws he prefers to throw,” Nate Tice said about Maye on The Athletic Football Show. “His eyes are always downfield. I think Maye has gotten underrated with some of his creativity and his athleticism.”

In the play below, Maye demonstrates that pocket playmaking aspect that has become a crucial trait among the elite quarterbacks in today’s game. He can create a play by buying some time in the pocket before he leaves while keeping his eyes downfield. While running to his left and with pressure in his face, he can readjust his body to find the arm angle needed to throw 30 yards to his receiver and away from the defenders.

The pocket collapses on him in this next play, but Maye extends by rolling out left and tossing a fadeaway pass with touch down the sideline. These are throws that top quarterbacks have been making in recent years, throws where they are deemed more of a trick shot than a typical dart. Think of all of those Stafford sidearm throws. As the game has evolved, quarterbacks who can sling it out of different arm angles have become the top dogs.

In the next clip, Maye throws a 45-yard pass from the opposite hash and hits his receiver in his hands. This play showcases why scouts rave about his arm strength. He readjusts his feet, and the ball flies out of his arm.

The first time I ever watched Justin Herbert throw a football in the NFL, I remember my first thought was about how the ball just flew out of his hand with ease that looked so natural. Maye barely steps into the throw below and delivers a deep ball casual grace.

You can’t fake arm talent. It separates guys like Herbert and Stafford from players like Tua Tagovailoa. Maye’s throws have that extra zip that sets him apart.

The second clip is another display of Drake’s uncanny arm strength. It’s a simple play-action shot where he throws it 45 yards downfield with great touch and hits his receiver in stride. I encourage you to watch the rest of the video. Countless plays showcase what Maye excels at – throwing with power in the intermediate and maintaining touch on deep balls.

The next play is one of my favorites. It’s a great showcase of the blend of Maye’s strengths. He’s getting pressured from his right and can roll out and deliver a 45-yard strike down the field on the run. It showcases his aggressiveness, mobility, playmaking ability, and arm talent. He did all of this while keeping his eyes down the field.

Go watch it again. Maye never looked anywhere else the entire play.

I like the next play because it’s just backyard football. You’ve seen it time and time again with Mahomes and Allen, where they make a play out of nowhere. Coaches don’t like this because it’s unsafe, but players make plays, and you can’t teach or coach a something like this. The QB either has it or he doesn’t.

In this clip below, Colt McCoy and Jay Gruden are watching a play of Maye’s in which he throws with a different arm angle and makes a play down the field being aggressive, and they both come away wowed.

Drake Maye is the quarterback I want the Vikings to draft due to his strengths — arm talent, pocket playmaking, and throwing with different arm angles. And don’t just take it from me. Robert Mays believes Maye has a fighting chance to match the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

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