TE1: Michael Mayer (Notre Dame)
Height: 6-foot-4 1/2
Weight: 249 pounds
DOB: 7-06-2001 (21 years old)
Michael Mayer did not test quite as well as expected, but it wasn’t a bad workout, by any means. He ran a 4.7-flat, which is more than enough speed, and his 32.5-inch vertical will play.
The reason it is easy to look past some underwhelming testing numbers is how great Mayer’s tape is. He caught 42 passes for 450 yards as a freshman, before taking his game up a notch in 2021 and 2022.
Mayer hauled in at least 67 receptions, 800 yards, and seven touchdowns in each of his final two seasons at Notre Dame. He dropped seven passes in these two years, but with 196 targets, I don’t worry too much in this area.
Perhaps my favorite part of Mayer’s game is how difficult he is to bring down with the ball in his hands. He doesn’t seem like the type to rack up YAC, but nearly half of his career yards came after the catch.
Not only is Mayer exceptional after the catch, but he is also tough to guard without the ball. He runs crisp routes and is a contested catch specialist over the middle and when working the sideline. Mayer separates extremely well for a guy of his size.
As a blocker, Mayer is a force in the run game. He clears lanes for running backs and uses his athleticism to get to the second level. Several big gains by the Notre Dame running backs came as a direct result of the hole(s) opened up by Mayer.
If I had to nitpick a weakness in his game, I’d say it is consistency as a blocker. When engaged, Mayer is a phenomenal blocker. However, I saw more than a handful of plays on tape where Mayer seemed to “phone it in”. He must remain locked in every snap, even the ones he is not a part of, to avoid landing in his coach’s dog house.
Mayer is the best tight end in this class. He has the production to match his prototypical size. The Notre Dame superstar is set to be a fantasy football needle-mover and will quickly become one of the best offensive weapons in the league. He is a day-one prospect who could go earlier than anyone expects.
NFL Draft Grade: Late Day 1
-Payne Durham (Purdue)
-Will Mallory (Miami)
-Cameron Latu (Alabama)
-Brenton Strange (Penn State)
-Jahleel Billingsley (Texas)