Michael Mayer NFL Draft Overview
Position: Tight End
Weight: 265 pounds
School: Notre Dame
2023 NFL Draft: Michael Mayer Scouting Report
After spending the entirety of his collegiate career at Notre Dame, tight end Michael Mayer has decided to skip his Senior season to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft. This is likely to be a wise decision for the young prospect, as Mayer’s on-field play proved beyond any reasonable doubt that he deserves to be one of the first tight ends off the board. During his Junior year, the tight end recorded 67 receptions for 809 yards and nine touchdowns while earning a 92.5 PFF grade.
Mayer proved he could handle the college game from a very young age. As a true freshman, Mayer played in 641 snaps, recording 42 receptions for 450 yards and two touchdowns on 59 snaps targets, impressive numbers for a rookie. He followed that up by recording 71 receptions for 840 yards and seven touchdowns on 95 targets in 2021.
- Impressive route runner with a knack for finding the openings in zone coverage;
- Ideal security blanket for a young quarterback – no matter where you throw it, he’ll catch it;
- Perfect build for the position – won’t be overpowered by NFL strength;
- Contested catch master – overpowers linebackers at the catch point on a consistent basis;
- Phenomenal blocker – able to play in-line on all three downs;
- Probably the most physical player at his position in this draft – does not shy away from contact;
- Unremarkable speed – safeties and faster linebackers can chase him down;
- Not a home run threat – won’t dominate the seam like a Rob Gronkowski type;
- Breaks tackles, but speed keeps him from being much of a YAC threat;
- Can’t line up wide like the most versatile tight ends – strictly in-line and slot;
- Somewhat inflated numbers from a friendly scheme.
NFL Comparison: Better Todd Heap
Projection: First Round Pick
Bottom Line on Michael Mayer
Michael Mayer is one of the better tight end prospect we’ve seen in recent years, and he should be the first player selected at his position. The Notre Dame product plays the position with a rare physicality, boasting the strength to move defensive linemen aside like nothing in the run game. Of course, he’s also phenomenal as a receiver, blessed with the route-running ability to beat man coverage and the NFL intellect to find holes in zone coverage.
His physicality and impressive strength translates to the catch point. He’s the ideal security blanket for a young quarterback, as he has the size and strength to outmuscle linebackers and safeties alike at the catch point. He has a phenomenal catch radius and remarkable hands, so those 50/50 balls are really more like 70/30 when he’s on the receiving end.
Mayer doesn’t have many flaws in his game, but the one big one is the lack of speed. The tight end isn’t dangerously slow by any means, but he lacks the speed to destroy defenses on seam routes or take short passes and turn them into massive gains. If he was faster, he’d be Rob Gronkowski. Instead, he profiles to be a top-10 tight end that should be able to contribute right out of the gate.
Main Photo: Matt Cashore – USA Today Sports