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Attack the 2024 Rookie Draft: 1.08

The one-time QB2 in the class is slipping due to landing spot - could Drake Maye be a massive steal at the 1.08?

In this series for the Dynasty Nerds, the staff will take a rookie draft pick-by-pick and evaluate who they would select. Each pick considers other players on the board, how the team build can affect the pick and possibly change the pick, and also the pick’s trade value.

The 1.08 Pick

At this point in the draft, the teams selected are playoff teams. This means their roster has no major flaws, and they typically draft for the best available player. Who that player is can be the tricky part.

What I love about Drake Maye is he won’t have to be the “savior” for the New England Patriots from day one. The Patriots have Jacoby Brissett under contract to lead the team into the 2024 season. With less stress on him to perform right away, Maye can take time to learn the system, learn the coaching staff, and unify with his teammates. He will inherit this team sooner rather than later, but given this time to develop, it will provide him the best chance for long-term success. Consider the time Jordan Love had to develop before becoming the signal-caller for the Packers. A little extra time ensured Love was ready to take the helm of an offense and make an impact for fantasy managers.

As a college football player, Maye could do it all. At 6’4″ and 225 pounds, he has the ideal modern-day quarterback size. For the past two years, he has thrown for 7,929 yards and 62 touchdowns while also rushing for 1,147 yards and 16 touchdowns. Maye is an accurate passer and an opportunistic runner. He doesn’t run because he can; he runs because the play requires it.

So, why take him here? Simple: He’s the best player on the board. And when you are a playoff team, you have the luxury of taking the best player without worrying about fit and need. Ideally, if any issue exists on your roster, you can fill it with a player who also fits the value. However, I find it hard to pass up the 1.03 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft here with the eighth pick. The value is too good.

Who Else Should I Consider?

I crushed the button to take Drake Maye this late. However, there was some solid wide receiver depth at this point in the draft, too. Brian Thomas and Xavier Worthy were both available. Depending on your team, they would both be fine choices when a future Pro Bowl quarterback isn’t still available. And I was one pick away from Rome Odunze. 

Psst, come close.

Odunze is not a top three wide receiver in this group. He has to compete with Keenan Allen, DJ Moore, and Cole Kmet for targets. If you want an idea of what to expect from him next year, look at Jaxon Smith-Njigba from last year.

JSN had 63 receptions for 628 yards and four touchdowns. Does anyone believe those numbers are going to improve substantially for 2024? So, for those Odunze believers out there, I caution you to temper expectations. He is not slated for a sizable load in 2024 and probably in 2025. The upside of Thomas and Worthy excites me more, and I will take either one of them before Odunze.

Photo Courtesy of John Rivera/Icon Sportswire

I am also a big fan of Jonathon Brooks. He will have an immediate impact on the Carolina Panthers. If a team drafting at this point desperately needed running back assistance, I wouldn’t mind seeing him drafted. Yes, many cringe when trying to determine running back value. However, the Panthers moved up to make Brooks the first running back selected in the draft. So, if my team has a running back void to fill, taking Brooks here is solid as well.

In the end, drafting at eight means you didn’t seriously threaten to win the league last year. Fantasy managers should be comfortable taking the best available position or slightly reaching for a position that suits them well for the upcoming season. Be flexible in the draft and let the players drop to you. Stay calm, and don’t trade up. Don’t mortgage your future because you caught draft fever.

Should You Trade the 1.08?

In this scenario, I wouldn’t be surprised if many teams try to move up (or back in) to take Drake Maye. He is a franchise quarterback. Although he may not play much in 2024, he will undoubtedly be ready for 2025.

If you did drop back, I would be happy to draft Brian Thomas, Xavier Worthy, or Jonathon Brooks. And if that means you add another second-round pick to your haul, even better! And if that drop-down is more than two spots, I would try to get a 2025 first. Sounds crazy? Maybe, but Drake Maye doesn’t normally last to pick eight in Dynasty Drafts. He is a golden ticket, and you should ask for the world. 

The Final Word

With the eighth pick, smashing the button to take a Josh Allen-type player is automatic. He has the size and pedigree and will be taught well in New England. The only question that remains for Drake Maye’s future is how the Patriots can surround him with enough talent to make plays. Jalen Hurts is not “Jalen Hurts” without AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith, and Joe Burrow isn’t “Joe Burrow” with Ja’Marr Chase. 

If Drake Maye finds his playmaker, I anticipate a long, successful career for Maye.

And, at pick 1.08, I cannot deny the value was immense at this point. Don’t be worried that he isn’t starting right away like Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels. Those players will need to carry their team right away. I feel better that Maye can inherit the offense rather than be forced to lead it immediately.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. If you haven’t already, join the #NerdHerd today to read all my articles and more on draft strategy, trade inquiries, and in-season management. Follow me @JGoody77 in the Twitter World for more fantasy content.

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