NFL Draft Rumors: Drake Maye vs. Jayden Daniels is becoming a hotly contested debate

With no games left, the great debate between Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels has already begun.

Drake Maye, North Carolina Tar Heels
Drake Maye, North Carolina Tar Heels / Grant Halverson/GettyImages
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While it would take something unforeseen for anybody other than USC star quarterback Caleb Williams to be the first player taken in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, there is quite the debate brewing between who should be QB2: Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels? The North Carolina star was QB2 all year long, or at least up until recently, as the Heisman Trophy winner from LSU looms large.

Up until last week, I had been toying with the idea of moving Daniels up to QB2 and Maye down to QB3. It was on this episode of False Start where I decided to make my move and be done with it. While Maye has better size and measurables over Daniels, the former Tar Heels star's play last season left a lot to be desired, especially down the stretch. Williams was not great toward the end either...

As for Daniels, he went from a guy who could have lost his starting job at LSU to Garrett Nussmeier to being pretty much a lock to go top-three in the 2024 NFL Draft. The smart money is on him to go to the Washington Commanders picking at No. 2, but he is not falling past the New England Patriots picking at No. 3, or unless somebody trades up to get him with that early first-round draft selection.

Here is ESPN's Louis Riddick saying without a shadow of a doubt that Daniels is his QB2 on Get Up.

The only thing that can slow down Daniels' meteoric draft rise are interviewing poorly and looking pedestrian at the combine. Riddick says Maye may wow people in interviews, but so could Daniels.

Who will be the second QB taken in 2024: Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels?

Admittedly, I was late to the Daniels for Heisman party. Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was my guy throughout last college football season. He finished both as a runner-up for the Heisman and the national championship. Being left-handed, injury-prone and slightly older than his quarterback contemporaries has Penix as QB6 on my board behind Michigan's J.J. McCarthy and Oregon's Bo Nix.

In terms of overall upside, Williams has the best because he could be the next Patrick Mahomes. Conversely, he has massive bust potential because of the way he conducts himself and not having all that great self-awareness. He could be Jeff George. While Daniels' ceiling is maybe Lamar Jackson, he is probably closer to Dak Prescott. Maye could be Aaron Rodgers, or he could be Andrew Luck...

To me, I have to put Maye as QB3 for three reasons. One, I think where he goes matters more than any quarterback who could potentially be drafted in the first round. He cannot overcome a bad situation. Two, I question if he has the grit of a Daniels, McCarthy, Nix or Penix. That's troublesome. And three, I am afraid he will be too nice and let a poorly-run franchise rag-doll him like Luck did in Indianapolis.

Overall, Maye has the higher ceiling over Daniels, but Daniels has the much higher floor. He is closer to what he is going to be already. Daniels is a plug-and-play type of quarterback. Maye will be drafted as such, but his rookie year could be very up and down. I would love to see him go to a team like the Commanders, but I am afraid the Patriots will ruin him like New England just did with poor Mac Jones.

Ultimately, we still have a long way to go before Roger Goodell tells us who is going where in the 2024 NFL Draft. I reserve the right to change my opinion on all draft-related things as we gather more and more intel on these prospects. Based strictly on what I saw on the college football field last season, I would have a very difficult time passing on Daniels because what if he hits and Maye is just average?

There is so much pressure on Washington to make the right decision with the No. 2 overall draft pick.

Next. 2024 NFL Mock Draft, post-Super Bowl full 3-round projection: Patriots skip QB, Chiefs add WR. 2024 NFL Mock Draft, post-Super Bowl full 3-round projection: Patriots skip QB, Chiefs add WR. dark