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NFL Draft Profile: Michael Mayer

School: Notre Dame

Position: TE

Year: Junior

The Good: Mayer is a massive target, and QBs know that they can throw a ball in his direction at any moment with a high-percentage chance of it being caught. He’s as sure-handed as it gets at the TE position, and he can adjust in any direction to reel in off-target throws. As a red zone weapon and chain mover, he lives up to the expectations of his gigantic frame. Mayer isn’t an athlete at the position in the same sense as a Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews, but he’s well-balanced and can put one foot in the ground and run convincing short routes. As a blocker, Mayer is very capable from an in-line set, and he’s proven that he can throw blocks in space if needed too.

The Bad: I mentioned Mayer’s athleticism, and by that I mean that he’s on the slower side – both running and popping out of his stance. Mayer is just generally stiff, and the ability to quickly change direction just isn’t there for him. Once Mayer is running on his path, he’s best off staying on that path – which limits his most effective route tree. He tends to lean when blocking on the move and, while he’s certainly a good blocker, I’m not sure that Mayer is a difference making blocker. 

The Bottom Line: Mayer is a throwback as a tight end prospect. Without knowing anything about the grandfather of whoever is reading this, I can assure you that Mayer would be your grandfather’s favorite in this class. Mayer is legitimately effective when aligned in the slot or split out wide, but he’s at his best when set up as a prototypical Y tight end. I’m 98% sure that Mayer will eventually be selected in the first round, though I’m unsure if I’d personally endorse that decision. I definitely think Mayer will be a solid player in the NFL, but I expect him to be more of a ‘good receiver/good blocker’ type compared to the ‘great receiver/great blocker’ type he was at Notre Dame. And honestly, with Mayer’s pedigree, I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s picked so highly that it becomes one of this Draft’s biggest surprise moments.

Grade: Late First Round / Early Second Round

Pro Comp: Jermaine Gresham

Games Watched:

  • Alabama 2020
  • USC 2021
  • Virginia 2021
  • Oklahoma State 2021
  • Ohio State 2022
  • USC 2022

Plays That Matter [LINK]


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