Notable NFL analyst shares Vikings rumor about Drake Maye

Former North Carolina QB Drake Maye
Former North Carolina QB Drake Maye / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

The search for the Minnesota Vikings’ next quarterback continues but with three weeks until the NFL Draft, one analyst believes they’ve pinned down their top target.

CBS Sports’s Pete Prisco projected the Vikings to trade up with the Arizona Cardinals for the fourth overall pick in his latest mock draft and used the pick to select North Carolina’s Drake Maye. 

Maye was the fourth quarterback off the board following Caleb Williams (Chicago), Jayden Daniels (Washington), and J.J. McCarthy (New England), but he believes the Vikings will make the big move, sending at least two first-round picks to Arizona to get the deal done.

“[The Vikings] make the bold move to go get a quarterback, which they must do,” Prisco wrote. “Drake Maye is rumored to be their top guy.”

Drake Maye rumored to be the top target for the Minnesota Vikings in the 2024 NFL Draft

The Vikings' connection to Maye makes sense. Maye played for new Minnesota quarterback coach Josh McCown at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, and McCown would routinely review his film alongside current Vikings starting quarterback Sam Darnold as he flew back and forth between Charlotte for Maye’s high school games and New York to be Darnold’s backup with the Jets.

For what it’s worth, Prisco isn’t the only source with steam on Maye, as the Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling proclaimed that Maye was their top target during an interview with The Athletic’s Alec Lewis on KFAN on Monday.

“I would put Maye No. 1, and I think that has continued to be my belief,” Goessling said. “He’s the guy they like, and he’s the guy that is the best fit.”

Maye was considered the second-quarterback in the draft behind USC’s Caleb Williams coming into the season before J.J. McCarthy’s and Jayden Daniels's stock rose throughout the year. Maye’s overall numbers of 3,608 yards, 24 touchdowns, and nine interceptions were good, but they were a step back from throwing for 4,321 yards, 38 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in 2022.

Despite the step back statistically, Maye has a lot to like as a 6-foot-5, 220-pound quarterback with a big arm. While the Vikings may see him as their top prospect, it may come down to the price to get him.

A projection by CBS Sports’s R.J. White says the Vikings would have to make a deal with the 11th, 23rd, 129th, and 230th picks in this draft heading to Arizona to get the fourth overall pick, but the Cardinals could ask for both the Vikings first-rounders in 2024 along with their 2025 first-round pick.

White also projects the 66th and 90th overall picks coming back to Minnesota in a “medium-value” deal but could also see the Vikings not getting the third-round pick back if there is a competitive market.

With Prisco projecting four quarterbacks to be taken to open the draft for the first time in NFL history, the Vikings probably won’t be alone in bidding for Maye. The good news is they have three weeks to move up the board and get their top target in purple.

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