Boye Mafe NFL Draft Overview
Position: Defensive end
Weight: 261 pounds
Boye Mafe 2022 NFL Draft Profile
Boye Mafe leaves the Minnesota Gophers after five seasons (including a redshirt year in 2017). He increased his playing time and sacks year over year, which culminated in 34 tackles and a team-leading seven sacks as a senior in 2021. He leaves the school ranked ninth all-time with 15 sacks across 42 games.
Mafe’s stock rose tremendously at the Senior Bowl. He was lauded for his performance throughout the week, both in interviews and positional drills. And then he followed that up with a dominant performance in the game, winning MVP for the National Team after posting two sacks, three tackles for loss, and one forced fumble. In what is a very deep NFL draft for EDGE, Mafe stands out for his insane athleticism and high-ceiling as a pass-rusher.
- Excellent speed off the edge
- Strong enough to fight off tackles
- Tremendous chop move outside
- Limited pass rush repertoire
- Limited experience with his hand down
- Stares down the quarterback at the expense of the play
- Inconsistent in the run game
NFL Comparison: Marcus Davenport
Projection: Late in the first round or early in the second round
Bottom Line on Boye Mafe
Mafe is an athletic freak with excellent edge-rushing talent. He has the speed and bend to get around most tackles when left one on one. Mafe is long, with arms to match, which helps him avoid getting locked in by opponents. His speed rush off the edge is difficult to beat. When he pairs this with a chop/rip it can be absolutely devastating to his opponent.
One of the main problems with his tape is that is his only move. He does not utilize a variety of pass-rushing techniques against the opponent. That extremely limits him as a rusher even if it does work effectively for him a high percentage of the time. He will quickly find himself stymied by the faster, stronger tackles he will face at the NFL level. He will need to refine his hand usage and footwork to reach his ceiling.
Mafe was mainly utilized as a stand-up rusher. He did spend a few snaps each game with his hand on the turf, but there will be some adjustment if he is drafted to a team that intends to use him as a traditional 4-3 defensive end. With his size and speed, he would make an ideal 3-4 outside linebacker. When called upon, Mafe did show an ability to stay with tight ends and running backs, but he was not asked to cover much.
Against the run he is inconsistent. He showed some good patience and is a solid tackler, but at times he would react too slowly or fail to properly set the edge. There were times he would be completely swallowed by his opponent and unable to disengage as well.
As mentioned, Mafe is elite athletically. His 4.53 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine was fourth-best for both defensive linemen and linebackers. Speed and explosion are key to his game. While his strength and size do not jump off the page in the same way, neither is a concern.
A team that drafts Mafe must be aware he needs further development and that he is not yet a complete player. But the athletic traits and motor he possesses should have any team excited about his potential.