Drake Maye details how he's worked to improve his footwork

On3 imageby:Alex Weber05/02/23

At last, football fans are finished with the four-month marathon of non-stop NFL Draft talk after this past weekend. Once again, the quarterback class dominated the discussion, with television gasbags jabbering through every conceivable point they could make on all of the top passers before the actual event took place.

Well, buckle up, North Carolina fans, because Tar Heel nation is in for that roller coaster ride next spring when their own QB, Drake Maye, likely enters his name in the 2024 NFL Draft as one of the top prospects. After the monstrous season he put together as a true sophomore in 2022, the expectation is Maye will only improve and cement himself as a future franchise quarterback for whoever is lucky enough to nab him next April.

Before all of that fanfare gets underway, though, there’s a long offseason ahead and plenty of areas where Maye wants to improve before next fall. At his recent media availability, he said his biggest goal right now is working on his footwork.

“Yeah, I think, you know, anytime any quarterback — you know, they’re always trying to work on footwork. Obviously, Coach (Phil) Longo, we did kind of the backpedal drop. So, going back to the traditional drop I’ve done my whole life, just a little change out there.”

Maye continued, saying that he’s improved across the board but still wants to clean up his decision making.

“But besides that, I’ve improved a lot of spring. I think one time that fourth down, just out there I drifted left until I got sack that maybe I could have thrown and thrown it up. But I think it was fourth down, so just throw it up, stuff like that. But I think only one time today, so just trying to improve it and memorize it.”

Footwork has become a massive part of a quarterback’s draft profile. We’re no longer in the days of quarterbacks simply taking a three-stop drop and firing passes out of the pocket all day. Instead, most modern superstar quarterbacks possess that off-script playmaking ability and are able to use their legs to scramble out of the pocket and extend plays.

Just look at Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, even Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes. Not all of those guys are as shifty as Lamar, but each is great at moving around in the pocket and escaping it if they need to. Heck, Joey B would be a pile of bones by this point if he wasn’t able to evade tacklers.

NFL QB’s nowadays have to be somewhat mobile and able to manipulate the pocket with their feet — and Drake Maye knows this. Good on him putting in the work this offseason.