Colt McCoy, Jay Gruden evaluate North Carolina QB Drake Maye

Colt McCoy and Jay Gruden are names Washington fans know well. Gruden served as Washington’s head coach from 2014-19, while McCoy was with the team throughout Gruden’s entire tenure.

It was during McCoy’s time in Washington that Kirk Cousins emerged as the team’s starting quarterback. However, McCoy always remained Gruden’s favorite passer and the pair have remained close since.

Over the past year, McCoy has been working with Underdog Fantasy, doing excellent work breaking down quarterback play. For draft season, McCoy had his old coach join him.

Recently, the duo evaluated North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye — a prospective No. 2 overall pick by the Washington Commanders.

Gruden has been consistent in his evaluation of Maye. He thinks Maye’s long-term ceiling could be the highest in the class, even more so than Caleb Williams. But Gruden also points out that most coaches need to win and cannot afford to wait for a quarterback to reach his potential.

In multiple media appearances, Gruden has always ranked Williams as the No. 1 quarterback, followed by LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels. He said if he were Washington, he would probably go with Daniels because he can help you win now.

However, McCoy and Gruden were clear regarding how much they liked Maye as a prospect. On one play, Maye, a right-handed passer, rolls to his left, turns his hips, changes his arm angle, and fires a touchdown pass. Gruden was impressed after initially believing he would tell his quarterback to take the flat route for five yards.

Gruden and McCoy raved about Maye’s physical talents and his arm strengths. A concern is his ball placement. Gruden believes right now that Maye is behind Williams and Daniels with his ball placement, but that can obviously improve.

Both have spoken to coaches who have worked with Maye over the years about his character, work ethic, and coachability. McCoy’s college coach, Mack Brown, was Maye’s college coach, while Gruden spoke to longtime NFL assistant Clyde Christensen, who worked with Maye last season.

Gruden believes Maye can be the face of the franchise-type quarterback, saying he will do everything needed to succeed. Gruden calls Maye a “slam dunk” for his intangibles.

However, as both noted, plenty of quarterbacks who put in the work have failed in the NFL.

The 2024 NFL draft kicks off on Thursday and Washington is on the clock second after the Bears likely select Williams.

Will it be Maye or Daniels for Washington?

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire