Picking Drake Mays in NFL Draft ‘would get you fired’: Merrill Hoge

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By journalsofus.com


Merrill Hoge has a warning for NFL coaches and general managers with picks near the top of the 2024 NFL Draft: Be prepared to be on the unemployment line if you select Drake Mays.

Mays is projected to be a top-three pick later this month and will likely go to the Commanders or the Patriots with the No. 2 pick right behind them.

NFL analyst Merrill Hoge thinks teams that draft UNC quarterback Drake Mays will regret it AP

“Drake Mays is the kind of player that will blow you out,” Hoge said on WCCO radio. “Especially if you get him in the top five or top three, he’ll put you out of a job.”

USC’s Caleb Williams is expected to be drafted No. 1, with Mays and LSU’s Jayden Daniels, the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner, expected to go No. 2 and No. 3, though it’s unclear who will be selected first.

Hoge compared Mayes to Titans quarterback Malik Willis, a third-round pick in 2022 who is behind Will Lewis on Tennessee’s depth chart.

“Willis might be the only guy I can think of who is as erratic as Mays,” said Hoge, who was an ESPN analyst from 1996-2017 after playing eight seasons for the Steelers and Bears.

“I studied him for two years. I watched every game of theirs last year. Their last game against [North Carolina State] It was possibly the most embarrassing performance I’ve seen from a guy who is supposed to be an elite franchise quarterback. He is irregular. He is everywhere.”

Merrill Hoge visits the Steelers training camp in 2015. AP

In 12 games in 2023, Mayes threw for 3,608 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

It was a step back from 2022 when North Carolina had much more talent around him and he threw for 4,321 yards, 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions while leading the Tar Heels to an ACC Championship Game appearance, where they lost to Clemson.

Over the past two seasons, North Carolina faltered at the end.

In 2022, they went 9–1 before losing their last four games; Last season, they went 6–0 before losing five of their last seven games.

Mays has met with both the Patriots and Commanders, the two most likely teams to draft him AP

Mays reportedly met in person with the Patriots on Friday, who is the No. 3 pick in the draft.

This was the third meeting between Mays and New England. Maye also reportedly met with Washington commanders ahead of his UNC pro-day.

The first round of the NFL Draft will take place on April 25.

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