Analysts hail Drake Maye as the answer to Commanders' prayers

Is the North Carolina quarterback Washington's next franchise player?
Drake Maye
Drake Maye / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Two respected analysts thought the Washington Commanders would be foolish not to take quarterback Drake Maye at No. 2 overall.

Unless the Washington Commanders find the right quarterback to take the franchise forward, they will remain in NFL purgatory. It's football's most pivotal position for a reason. Those who don't have a productive presence under center always seem to be chasing the golden goose.

It's been a long time since the Commanders had a momentum-changing quarterback. Someone capable of winning games single-handedly and leading his team to great things. Sam Howell was the latest to underachieve in 2023. Although there were mitigating circumstances involved under a lame-duck head coach within an offense lacking balance, it would be a huge shock if the new regime didn't seek an alternative option this offseason.

Most fans expect this to arrive via the 2024 NFL Draft. If the Commanders don't go bold with a daring trade-up for Caleb Williams, it seems to be a choice between Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels at No. 2 overall.

Drake Maye would be the perfect Commanders pick at No. 2

Debates are raging across the media about which way the Commanders should go. Trevor Sikkema from Pro Football Focus was adamant the pick should be Maye and believes this is the player Washington has craved for some time based on comments via Sports Illustrated.

"There should not be any debate at all whatsoever about who goes No. 2 overall in this draft. There shouldn't be a debate for who goes No. 1, and I don't think there should be a debate of who goes No. 2….The Commanders have been waiting for a player like this."

Trevor Sikkema via Sports Illustrated

This was a sentiment echoed by Connor Rogers from NBC Sports. He highlighted Maye's underrated dual-threat ability and passing promise as reasons why the Commanders would be making a big mistake if they went with someone else.

"He's an excellent prospect. If I'm the Commanders and it goes Caleb Williams No. 1 overall, there's not even a conversation for me. I got Drake Maye No. 2. We've been waiting for this. I'm a really big fan. There's not much he can't do is my takeaway when watching him…I wouldn't answer the phone to move the pick. I'm a big believer in his as a passer. I'm a big believer in him as a runner. I think he's a big-bodied red-zone threat. When you get inside the 10, it's like 'Damn we've got to worry about Drake Maye barreling into the end zone, or he can lay one right to the back pylon with a perfect touch throw.'"

Connor Rodgers via Sports Illustrated

There is a long way to go and a lot of evaluations left to do. If the Commanders are intent on going up for Williams, they could get the lay of the land during next week's NFL Scouting Combine. Considering the holes elsewhere, general manager Adam Peters might not be willing to part ways with what it might cost to land the USC prospect.

Maye isn't a bad consolation prize. He's got outstanding traits and looks like a good scheme fit for Kliff Kingsbury's system. There is some work to do with decision-making and pocket footwork in tight windows. But all things considered, this is an exceptional prospect who could become a franchise presence over time.

Washington's coaching staff has the credentials to make this the perfect environment for any incoming college recruit. If the choice is Maye, he already has a strong connection with Howell from their time together in North Carolina.

How Maye performs during his meeting with the Commanders could make or break his chances. Peters is looking for leaders across the board. The signal-caller must prove capable of inspiring grown men at the next level and display the characteristics normally associated with confident leadership.

If he checks this box, it's all systems go.