Which QB does Mel Kiper Jr. think ranks ahead of Drake Maye?

In a little over a month, over 250 young football players will have their childhood dreams recognized at the NFL Draft.

While there’s plenty of top-rank talent, the early first round-focus is on – as per usual – quarterbacks.

Former UNC standout Drake Maye is projected as one of the top quarterbacks off the board, with most drafts saying he’ll be selected third overall. Maye backs up his anticipated high selection with video game numbers in college: 8,018 passing yards, 63 passing touchdowns and just 16 interceptions.

Mock drafts are normally pretty accurate, but there’s always a ton of speculation. Some of that recent speculation involves Maye and a recent National Championship-winning quarterback – J.J. McCarthy.

“Drake Maye and JJ McCarthy is a battle,” ESPN NFL Draft Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. told ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates earlier Saturday. “I think that’s legitimate. JJ McCarthy is so smart, so tough, athletic. Michigan didn’t let him carry the offense – he has benefitted from that because that’s a mystery to it (his game). He’s kind of an old school quarterback. He doesn’t throw it 40-50 times.”

I think that Kiper’s speculation is legitimate, as McCarthy was part of a significantly more successful program than Maye, but there’s no doubt Maye is the more talented individual.

Maye has a rocket arm and is much better in the ground game.

McCarthy has what Maye doesn’t, however – the proven ability to help lead a title-winning team. Maye also struggled when North Carolina offense’s offense did as a whole, throwing interceptions in each of the Tar Heels’ final three games.

With the NFL all about finding those players who can get teams over the hump, McCarthy over Maye might actually be the smart pick.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire