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Will Caleb Williams or Drake Maye be the 2024 NFL draft's top quarterback?

Williams is the presumed favorite, drawing comparisons to Patrick Mahomes, but Maye is right on his heels.

LOS ANGELES — The 2023 NFL draft was less than one month ago but already attention turns toward 2024, where another group of quarterbacks will become available from the college ranks.

Locked on NFL draft hosts Damian Parson and Keith Sanchez took an early stab at ranking the quarterbacks expected to be available in 2024, starting with the debate between the presumed top two options in USC's Caleb Williams and North Carolina's Drake Maye.

"The race for me is closer than it is for everybody else," Parson said of the battle between Williams and Maye. "That's my statement. QB1 race is a lot closer than everyone wants to make it."

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It's easy to see why Williams is the presumed favorite right now, as he comes off a Heisman Trophy winning season where he threw for 4,539 yards and 42 touchdowns while leading USC to an 11-3 record. Williams has been excellent since his freshman season at Oklahoma, which differs from Maye's story.

Maye only played two games as a freshman in 2021, and had to fight for his starting role last season. Once he got it though he proved he more than deserved it, throwing for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns while finishing 10th in Heisman voting and tacking on 698 rushing yards.

Maye is bigger and has a cannon for a right arm, although Williams is the better improviser - so much so he has drawn lofty comparisons to Patrick Mahomes in that regard.

The battle between Williams and Maye is far from decided, although it is fair to assume they will be the top two quarterbacks off the board next April. Damian and Keith look at a few other sleeper quarterbacks in next year's class, including Quinn Ewers (Texas) and Riley Leonard (Duke).

With the 2023 college football season still months away, a lot can and will change. For more insight, stay up to date with the Locked on NFL draft podcast!

Locked On has a DAILY podcast covering EVERY NFL team, find yours today!

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