Jalen Mayfield should be one of the first Michigan football players selected in the 2021 NFL draft, but will he hear his name called Thursday night?
Michigan football is going to have a player selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft, at least if things go as expected with Kwity Paye.
But will Michigan football get another player selected in the first round? If that happens, it will be Jalen Mayfield, the offensive tackle.
Measuring 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 328 pounds, Mayfield started at right tackle over two seasons for the Wolverines and a year ago, allowed just one sack.
Mayfield is certainly a talented pass protector. He showed that even back in the 2019 season when he more than held his own against Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young.
Following that season, Mayfield was being projected as a top-10 pick. Now, he’s started to trend out of the first round. However, he had a message today on Twitter for NFL teams.
Like many players in this year’s NFL draft, Mayfield’s on-field experience is somewhat limited, at least compared to a lot of offensive linemen you usually see in the first round.
There are usually guys who have made 30-40 starts. Mayfield has made 15 starts and played a total of 18 games. That sample size probably isn’t helping him, although he played well during the stretch.
However, he spent his time at right tackle, and with his 32-inch arms, there are questions about whether he will be a guard or tackle at the next level?
The answer to that question will likely answer the question about where he goes in the 2021 NFL draft.
Predicting where Mayfield lands
The reason that Mayfield has started to drop recently is that he’s not a clear-cut starter at tackle. But people had the same questions about Bryan Bulaga and he worked out just fine.
Arm length doesn’t always determine whether or not someone will succeed as a tackle, but it doesn’t hurt. Mayfield just might fit better at guard, and with his ability as a run blocker and pass protector, he could be a really good offensive guard.
That also makes the pick a little safer. Mayfield has the athleticism and all the traits you’d want in a tackle, outside of those really long arms. He’s got a mean streak and a guy with the ability to play multiple spots on the O-line is always valuable.
However, with a deep class at tackle, I feel like Mayfield will slide into the second round. A team like the Steelers, Packers, or even the Chiefs could make sense.