Michael Mayer Draft Profile – 2023 NFL Draft
Michael Mayer NFL Draft Scouting Report Introduction
Michael Mayer, a tight end from Notre Dame, is a highly-touted NFL draft prospect who possesses a rare combination of size, ball skills, physicality, and versatility. He has been a highly productive player during his college career, and his abilities indicate that he is ready to make an impact at the professional level. Mayer has what it takes to be a quality starter in the NFL and is likely to be ahead of the curve when it comes to other tight ends in the league.
Mayer was a 4-star recruit who played football at Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky. He earned accolades as the 2019 Gatorade Kentucky Football Player of the Year and participated in the 2020 U.S. Army All-America Bowl. He was a two-way player who was rated as a top-50 recruit nationally before he committed to play for Notre Dame. He received offers from several other top-tier programs, including Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Texas, but ultimately turned them all down for Notre Dame.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Career
Michael Mayer quickly became a key contributor to the Notre Dame offense, finishing his freshman year tied for the most receptions on the team. He continued to excel throughout his college career, setting a program record for most career receptions by a tight end and tying for third all-time in program history with 180 catches.
As a freshman in 2020, Mayer showcased his talents and solidified his role as a valuable player for the Fighting Irish. In 12 games, he made 42 receptions for 450 receiving yards, with an average of 10.7 yards per catch, two touchdowns, and an impressive QB rating of 97.4 when targeted. Mayer also excelled as a pass-blocker, demonstrating his reliability by allowing no pressures or sacks.
Mayer’s sophomore season in 2021 saw a significant increase in his performance and contributions to the team. In 12 games, he boasted an impressive 71 catches for 840 receiving yards, averaging 11.8 yards per reception, with 7 receiving touchdowns and a remarkable QB rating of 112.6 when targeted. As a pass-blocker, Mayer’s reliability continued as he gave up no pressures or sacks.
In his junior year in 2022, Mayer maintained his exceptional performance on the field, playing in 12 games and recording 67 catches for an impressive 809 receiving yards, averaging 12.1 yards per catch, with 9 receiving touchdowns, and a solid QB rating when targeted of 103.9. As a pass-blocker, he allowed only one pressure and one sack.
Mayer was one of the most talented tight ends in Notre Dame history. He was a consistent red zone threat and
Michael Mayer 2023 NFL Draft Profile
On the field, Mayer showcases a variety of top-tier physical qualities that are sure to make him a successful player in the NFL. The Notre Dame product has exceptional hands as a pass catcher and is able to make contested catches in traffic with ease. Mayer has soft hands, excellent ball skills, and is able to concentrate on passes over the middle of the field, regardless of the type of route he is running. He is able to catch the ball effortlessly away from his body, offering a reliable catch radius.
Michael Mayer also has excellent body control, enabling him to adjust to poorly-thrown balls or tight-window throws along the sideline while keeping his feet in bounds.
Michael Mayer forty yard dash- 4.65 seconds
Player Comparison- Mark Andrews
Scouting Report- Strengths
Mayer’s route-running is very impressive. He is deliberate with his releases and is able to sell the defender on a fake before breaking into his route. He is effective at releasing from in-line alignments effectively, avoiding traffic to get into his route on time. He has also been successful in the slot and even when isolated on the boundary.
Mayer’s ability as a blocker is also noteworthy. He has good functional strength, an effective hand punch, and is able to sustain his base. In this regard, he is more pro-ready than most college tight end prospects. He has also proven himself in clutch situations throughout his college career.
Scouting Report- Weaknesses
One area where Mayer may face challenges at the NFL level is his athleticism. While he uses his size effectively to create separation, he is not likely to be a run-away athlete. He may struggle against man coverage due to his lack of top-end speed. He is a difficult player to defend when the ball is in the air, but his quarterback will need to be accurate when throwing to him against man coverage as he won’t win foot races and be lethal in open space. He is a very different prospect than Kyle Pitts in this regard.
Additionally, while he possesses good functional strength as a blocker, he may not be the dominant blocker that some may expect based on his “Baby Gronk” nickname after Rob Gronkowski.
Despite these potential limitations, Mayer’s overall skill set and potential as an NFL starter are undeniable and he is sure to have a solid NFL career. He has the potential to quickly become a trusted and valuable asset for any team in need of a reliable and versatile tight end. The question is whether or not his athletic profile aligns with the new trend of first round NFL tight ends that combines mismatch size and elite speed.
Michael Mayer 2023 NFL Draft Summary
Michael Mayer is a player who has the potential to be a top-tier tight end in the NFL. He is likely to be a quality starter for a team that drafts him and should be a trusted target for his quarterback. Mayer’s combination of blocking ability, receiving skills, and clutch playmaking make him a desirable prospect for any team looking for a complete tight end.
The Notre Dame tight end will create mismatch nightmares for opposing linebackers and defensive backs. He effortlessly catches passes and high points the ball, so he will certainly be an instant end zone favorite for his QB.
- Natural instincts and a day 1 impact starter
- Great route runner with strong hands
- Well-rounded set of tools in both the passing game and rushing game
- Good athlete but not off the charts compared to recent first round tight ends
- Discounted in the draft due to position?
- Not an exceptional blocker
Many analysts have a Michael Mayer draft projection of the Green Bay Packers. There are some who question whether or not Notre Dame tight end will be considered a superior athlete to warrant a top-15 selection in the first round. It seems the Packers are moving on to Jordan Love and a talent at the tight end position should be a great asset to the young quarterback.
We have the Notre Dame Fighting Irish tight end as our 15th ranked overall on our draft big board and 1st at the tight end position.