III: Catch this falling star and put him on the roster
The jury among Rams fans who I have seen discussing the virtues of adding a 2024 rookie backup quarterback to the roster seem to be split down the middle. Some recognize that the timing of doing so is dictated by when the talent level and supply manifests in a rookie class, and 2024 certainly has that going for it. On the other hand, many argue that veteran QB Matthew Stafford's restoration in 2023 is a shining example of what a solid offensive line and a dangerous running game can do for him. But I believe if North Carolina QB Drake Maye falls on the draft board, he would be an ideal prospect for the Rams to trade up for:
Of course, trading up for the guy is predicated on the presumption that he falls on the draft board in the first place. Right now, he has been projected in most 2024 mock drafts as being selected anywhere from the first overall pick to as low as the seventh over pick. Because the Rams first pick in the draft does not occur until the 19th overall pick, Drake Maye would need to plummet on Day 1. Even if he does, the Rams would need to trade up significantly from their current spot to even hope to get him.
But, NFL rumors are already surfacing that he may be the rookie who falls inexplicably from a Top-3 perch to a mid-Round 1 selection. In 2023, top prospect DL Jalen Carter fell to a ninth overall selection by the Philadelphia Eagles. Top defensive back Christian Gonzalez fell to a 17th overall player selected by the New England Patriots.
Rumors are that at least one NFL evaluator believes that Drake Maye could be a player to be selected lower than expected.
So how could a tumbleweed in Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft lure the Rams to trade up to get him?
Drake Maye checks all of the boxes for an NFL starting quarterback. He stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 230 pounds, and ideal size for an NFL quarterback who plans to enjoy a long career. He is a dual threat quarterback, an offensive pilot who can take command of the entire offense aircraft carrier, or one who can hop into a jet and take off all on his own, laying a path of offensive yards to frustrate even the most determined defenses.
He is not a system-quarterback, nor has he been blessed with dominating offensive line play. He is a feisty helmsman, a player who creates yards out of busted plays, and he can obliterate defenses with huge runs and with huge passes. He is not a finished product, as his processing time needs to speed up to align with NFL speed. But he would be well-served become Matthew Stafford's understudy. Then when his time to start arrives, the Rams offense would not miss a beat.