4 – Jalen Mayfield
Michigan tackle Jalen Mayfield has been lost in the shuffle which means there is going to be a team that drafts their future starter with a top 50 selection. The former Wolverine is a solid prospect that will be placed on someone’s line then forgotten about for ten years.
The first thing that stands out is his instant pass setup. He almost leaps into his pass set and is almost always the first lineman in his stance. He was so fast that I would sometimes see him pop into his stance then look over to the guard and see him set up as well.
Mayfield stands at six foot five and weighs 320-pounds and knows how to use his body. His hand placement could use some refinement but showed that even when a defender could get his hands into his body, Mayfield had the strength to anchor down and stymie the bull rush.
Mayfield is also one of the best-run blockers in the entire NFL draft which is is a huge plus. You may be asking if this guy has the tools to be an instant starter, why isn’t he talked about with the other tackle prospects?
The answer is simple. He is strictly a right tackle and played right tackle at Michigan. He has enough athleticism to play on the left side in a pinch or get through a game or two but his future is on the right side or guard.
Mayfield tends to get antsy and lunges at his defender which oftentimes gets him in trouble. He also needs to sustain his blocks a bit longer.
The Miami Dolphins who employ the only left-handed starting quarterback in this league could be a logical landing spot as the right tackle is more important for that simple fact.
The Dallas Cowboys once drafted Notre Dame’s left tackle and turned him into an All-Pro right guard. As more and more teams started following the blueprint of taking a college team’s best left tackle and turn him into a guard, I can definitely see a team doing the same with Mayfield.
If drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, I can already envision the left guard battle that would ensue with current left guard incumbent Connor Williams. There could even be a scenario down the road where he is asked to move back to the right and shift current right tackle La’el Collins to the left side and replace future Hall of Fame tackle, Tyron Smith.
This gives the team options for the future while upgrading the now.