Last night’s Bowl Games showed who the Arizona Cardinals should roll with if they draft a quarterback

The Arizona Cardinals probably won’t draft a quarterback, but if they do, last night’s games showed Drake Maye needs to be the guy over Caleb Williams.

Duke v North Carolina
Duke v North Carolina / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

Suppose the Chicago Bears hold onto the first overall pick the Carolina Panthers gave them and they roll with receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. Now, suppose Monti Ossenfort wants to bring in his own quarterback, and such a scenario gives the Arizona Cardinals general manager an ultimatum - Caleb Williams or Drake Maye?

Last night’s Bowl Games showed us how much more valuable Drake Maye was to the North Carolina Tar Heels than Caleb Williams was to the USC Trojans. For North Carolina, backup quarterback Conner Harrell finished a solid 18 for 27 with 198 passing yards, and 7.4 yards per completion, but he also threw a pair of interceptions compared to just one touchdown pass. 

The Tar Heels also struggled to move the ball, and it resulted in a 30-10 loss to the West Virginia Mountaineers in a game that North Carolina was rarely in. Had Maye suited up, we don’t know if North Carolina would have won, but the game would have been far more interesting.

Drake Maye would be a more valuable fit at QB for the Arizona Cardinals

USC beat Louisville in the Holiday Bowl, and wow, the offense played so well, you’d have never known a backup quarterback was at the helm for the Trojans. Miller Moss completed 23 of 33 passes for 372 yards, and 11.3 yards per attempt while throwing for six touchdowns and just one interception. 

It’s clear USC’s offense didn’t miss a step in Williams’ absence, far unlike the multiple steps North Carolina’s lost without Maye. The takeaway? It implies how much more value Maye had to his team than Williams had to USC. 

Head coach Lincoln Riley could put his personal choice of quarterbacks behind center, as he’s done throughout his head coaching career (Kyler Murray, anyone?), and the results would remain relatively equal. That’s not the case for most college football coaches, as Maye’s presence changes the scope of North Carolina’s offense. 

Last night’s sample size, though small, shows us that should the Arizona Cardinals roll with a quarterback in April and if they have their choice between Drake Maye and Caleb Williams, they shouldn’t overcomplicate this: Drake Maye is the clear-cut front-runner.


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