Michael Mayer NFL Draft 2023: Scouting Report for Notre Dame TE
40-YARD DASH: TBD
— Great size. Tall, well-built frame for a traditional Y tight end.
— Elite ball tracking and hands. Not a body catcher; does well to locate and fight for the ball.
— Elite strength as a pass-catcher. Boxes defenders out regularly.
— Smooth yet physical route-runner. Excels in the range from one to 12 yards.
— Very good flexibility for a player who looks as bulky as he does.
— Great power-oriented YAC player; difficult to bring down.
— Somewhat underwhelming blocker for his size; more functional than good.
— Average speed, both with and without the ball.
— DOB: July 6, 2001
— 27 starts over three seasons
— 2021 third-team All-American, 2022 first-team All-American
Michael Mayer brings a blend of size, strength and dominant receiving traits that will make him a quarterback's best friend.
At 6'4½", 265 pounds, Mayer has prototypical size for the position and all the traits of a dominant receiving tight end. Mayer is a smooth, comfortable route-runner who understands how to use his physicality in subtle ways to help create separation. He is just as effective working short quick-game routes as he is finding space down the seam or on corner/sail routes.
Better yet, Mayer dominates at the catch point. He does an excellent job boxing defenders out with his frame and strength, both when the ball is chest-level and when he needs to climb the ladder for it. Mayer also has special ability to find the ball and bring it in. He is as natural of a ball locator as it gets, and his hands almost never falter. Mayer is the premier "just throw it in his general area" pass-catcher in this class.
Mayer is effective with the ball, too. Though he lacks the blazing speed of the position's best YAC threats, Mayer is a tough, balanced and fairly explosive ball-carrier. He is more of a bully than a burner, but he's about as physically imposing as it gets in that mold short of Rob Gronkowski. Mayer will regularly fight for extra yards.
Blocking is the only minor pain point with Mayer. To be clear, Mayer is plenty functional as a blocker. His strength is solid, and he's agile enough to be a blocker on the move. He doesn't move people the way his frame suggests, though, and Notre Dame more often placed him on the outside in two-TE sets, an indicator that they trusted their other tight ends more to do the heavy lifting.
Tight end is typically a tough transition, but Mayer should be a weapon right away. A player with his size, strength and natural ball skills will find a way to be productive out of the gate. Mayer may need a minute to get comfortable as a blocker, but it shouldn't be bad enough at the start to inhibit his work as a receiver. Mayer has the potential to crack into that upper echelon of tight ends in a few years.
GRADE: 8.7 (Immediate Impact Prospect/Round 1)
OVERALL RANK: 5
POSITION RANK: TE1
PRO COMPARISON: Tyler Eifert
Written by B/R NFL Scout Derrik Klassen