Offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield, who would have been a redshirt sophomore in 2020-2021, has declared for the NFL Draft.
Mayfield, from Grand Rapids (MI) Catholic Central, was recruited to Minnesota by then-Gophers offensive line coach Ed Warinner, but he flipped to Michigan when the Wolverines came through with an offer. He ended up playing in the Army All-American Bowl and finished the 2018 recruiting cycle as a 4-star, the #16 offensive tackle, and #268 overall. I initially gave him a TTB Rating of 84 (LINK) before bumping him up to an 87 at the end of the cycle (LINK).
Mayfield redshirted in 2018. He became a 13-game starter in 2019, earning Honorable Mention All-Big Ten on the offensive line.
13 games played (13 starts)
Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (2019)
Boy, this is going to be a short summary. Mayfield was a very athletic and exciting recruit who needed a year to work on his body. He had a rough start to the 2019 season against Middle Tennessee when he made some mental mistakes, but as the year went along, he improved significantly. His potential was exciting, and I was looking forward to watching him block relentlessly for at least another year or two. His combination of athleticism and aggression was a notch below Taylor Lewan.
I WILL REMEMBER HIM FOR . . .
. . . leaving “too early.” Who am I to say he’s leaving too early when we’re in the middle of a pandemic and the 2020 season was postponed/canceled? But we’ve never seen a guy leave Michigan for the NFL essentially after his redshirt freshman year. This is very odd and leaves me wondering how he would have looked with another year of strength, conditioning, and technique work. He would have been really good this year. Drat.
It’s not often that we have to project a redshirt freshman to the NFL, and I have no idea which players will be entering the 2021 draft. If he were eligible for the 2020 draft, he would not have been a first round pick. He simply wasn’t playing at that level. But he did show a ton of athleticism. Some people think he’s too short for tackle at 6’5″, but I think he has enough length to stick at tackle at the next level. If I had to guess right now, I would say he would be a second or third round pick in 2021, but that’s only a slightly educated guess because everything is so fluid.
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