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2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Michael Mayer (TE – Notre Dame)

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Michael Mayer (TE – Notre Dame)

As the NFL season winds down, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL draft scouting reports before the combine in March. Here’s a look at Michael Mayer.

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2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Michael Mayer (TE – Notre Dame)

Michael Mayer (TE – Notre Dame)

6’4″ – 265 lbs.

Background:

Has been starting since his true freshman season, a year he finished with a line of 42-450-2 (10.7). Followed that up with two highly productive campaigns of 71-840-7 (11.8) in 2021 and 67-809-9 (12.1) in 2022. Now holds the distinction of being Notre Dame’s all-time leader in receptions among tight ends, which is saying something given their rich history at the position (including Cole Kmet, Troy Niklas, Tyler Eifert, Kyle Rudolph and Anthony Fasano, to name a few recent prospects).

Positives:

Highly productive team captain from one of college football’s premier tight-end programs. Very thickly-built tight end who should be able to step right in from a functional strength standpoint. Lined up all over the offense, most frequently as an H-Back, but also played inline regularly and took some snaps from the slot. Was asked to execute different types of blocking assignments; can line up inline and hold the point of attack with impressive lower-body strength, or come in motion and crack opponents. Good leg drive after contact to generate movement. Shows impressive toughness and physicality, working hard to line up defenders in space. A reliable pair of hands who was one of the focal points of his team’s passing attack. Pays attention to the details when running routes. Has the quickness to release at the line against press when working from the slot or split out wide. Nice footwork and hip sink at the stem. Dips his shoulder to avoid disruption when moving past defenders in zone. Stays on track through contact when running routes. Able to use his frame to shield defenders from the ball. Aggressive at the catch point to go up and get passes, with impressive body control for his size. Nice ability to come down with contested catches, with impressive focus through contact. Can punish defenders with his big frame after the catch and was often schemed opportunities to help him build a head of steam.

Negatives:

Production is somewhat inflated by hitches, releases into the flats and screens. Would be nice if he were an inch or two taller. Has the build and strength to be a great blocker but needs to improve his consistency and technique. Occasionally lapses into throwing a shoulder as a blocker, sometimes without being fully squared up, leading to glancing blows. Balance is adequate at best, leading to some instances where he falls off of blocks. Grip strength isn’t quite where it should be.

Summary:

Widely considered the best tight end in the class, he has the size, strength and route-running skills to step into a starting lineup as a rookie. Although, he has some work to do as a blocker in order to reach his potential in the run game. As good as he is now, still has considerable untapped potential and appears destined to come off the board in the first round.

Projection: Round 1

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