Top NFL Draft QB Prospect Drake Maye Told Great Philip Rivers Story

Rivers has still got the juice, according to Maye.
Drake Maye
Drake Maye / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Drake Maye is one of the top quarterback prospects available in this year's NFL draft. The UNC product is expected to go near the top of the first round, slated to take place on Thursday beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Maye's landing spot is not yet set in stone but he's almost certain to go in the first three picks. As is tradition, Maye has also been doing media appearances in the lead-up to the draft and the young quarterback shared a great story about Philip Rivers in his most recent interview.

Maye has been working with Rivers throughout the pre-draft process. This week, appearing on the ESPN show "This Is Football" with Kevin Clark, Maye was asked to tell a Rivers story. He delivered, explaining how Rivers beat himself, Bo Nix, and Carter Bradley in an out route competition despite having 20 years on everybody involved.

This should not shock anybody who watched Rivers play. His final year with the Indianapolis Colts in 2020 was far from his best and his arm strength was clearly waning but his accuracy was still unbelievable. He boasted excellent touch on those out-breaking routes in particular despite a wonky throwing motion with a spiral rarely found.

Some might wonder if it's wise for Maye to admit a 42-year-old retiree got the better of him. That is, of course, a silly notion because it's not just any 42-year-old retiree. It is Philip Rivers, 17-year NFL veteran and holder of several records. They were also doing a drill that doesn't take arm strength into account, something Maye in particular boasts as a big strength. No one needs to get fired up over this innocuous tale.

A fun tale, and one that might merit a mention on the draft broadcast come Thursday.

Liam McKeone


Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.