The Las Vegas Raiders were aggressive on Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft, trading with the Indianapolis Colts to move up to the fourth pick of the second round. With that selection, the Raiders selected their prospective Darren Waller replacement in Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer.
Mayer was seen as a first-round pick by many. A five-star recruit out of Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, Mayer went on to become the best tight end in Notre Dame history in just three seasons, setting the all-time marks at his position for catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He's an all-around tight end without a true weakness.
The Raiders of course parted ways with tight ends Waller and Foster Moreau this offseason. While they did sign veterans Austin Hooper and O.J. Howard, Mayer has TE1 potential. He was a consensus All-American last season, and caught 16 touchdowns over the past two years. That's tied for second-most by a tight end over that span.
Below is a comprehensive draft profile for Mayer, including his high school and college accolades, scouting report and NFL prospect outlook.
NFL Draft grade: B+
Complete TE prospect. Not a freaky athlete but does everything well. Won't run by many people, but gave me Mark Andrews vibes. Catches everything. Subtle ability to get open. -- Chris Trapasso
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Michael Mayer draft profile
- Age: 21
- Hometown: Independence, Kentucky
- Interesting fact: First Notre Dame tight end to earn consensus All-American honors since Ken MacAfee in 1977
NFL combine measurements/results
Height: 6-4 1/2" | Weight: 249 lbs | Arms: 31 5/8'' | Hands: 9 1/2"
- 40-yard dash: 4.70 seconds
- Broad jump: 9 feet, 10 inches
- Vertical jump: 32.5 inches
Michael Mayer is a consistent performer who does a great job of making contested catches out of his frame. He lacks top-end athleticism and struggles to create separation as a result. Mayer is solid as a run blocker and in pass protection. He turns upfield quickly but does not have the breakaway speed to churn yards after the catch. Mayer is a bear for a defensive back to bring down in open space.
- Consistent producer dating to his freshman season
- Great size to make contested catches and sustain blocks
- No wasted movement
- Blocks with good leverage and drives his feet on contact in the run game
- Soft hands to snatch passes away from his frame
- Average-to-below average quickness and athleticism
- Can get off the ball faster
- Does not create much separation
- Turns upfield quicky post-catch but does not have breakaway speed
College stats, accolades
- 2022: First-team All-American (AP, Walter Camp Foundation, The Sporting News)
- 2022: Second-team All-American (FWAA, AFCA)
- 2021: Third-team All-American (AP)
- 2020: Freshman All-America First Team (247Sports, The Athletic)
- 2020: All-ACC third team
- Career: School's all-time leader at tight end in catches (180), receiving yards (2,099) and receiving touchdowns (18)
- 2022: Single-season school record for receiving touchdowns (nine) by a tight end
- 2021: Single-season school record for receptions (71) and receiving yards (840) by a tight end
- 2021 (vs. Florida State): Tied school record for most receptions in a game by a tight end (nine)
High school: Covington Catholic (Alexandria, Kentucky)
Composite Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (0.9833)
- National: 32 | TE: 2 | Kentucky: 1
High school accolades: Second-team All-American (MaxPreps), first-team junior All-American (MaxPreps), Gatorade Kentucky Football Player of the Year, Kentucky Football Coaches Association Mr. Football, 5A District 5 Player of the Year, All-American Bowl selection