Jalen Mayfield Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Reliable pass protector
Has quick enough feet
Can bend at the knee
Agile to wall off speed rushers
Can kick slide to block speed rushers
Anchors against bull rushes
Shows recoverability against bull rushes
Quality run blocker
Contributes in the ground game
Can manipulate and tie up defenders as a run blocker
Fighter; physical demeanor
Quick out of his stance
Not an elite athlete
Lacks elite speed
Can lunge after defenders
Gets in trouble when his weight gets over his toes
Will give up ground to the bull rush
Not overpowering as a run blocker
Less than ideal speed for a left tackle
Less than ideal feet for a left tackle
Less than ideal athleticism for a left tackle
Might be limited to right tackle or guard in the NFL
Could have problems with elite NFL rushers
Summary: Jalen Mayfield was perhaps the only offensive lineman who could slow down Chase Young in 2019 during his dominant campaign of 16.5 sacks. In plenty of one-on-one matchups, Mayfield got the better of Young, and there were other plays where Young had Mayfield on the ropes but the young Wolverine was able to recover in time to keep Young from making his typical game-changing plays. It was a breakout performance for the Wolverines right tackle to conclude the regular season.
After being a backup as a true freshman, Mayfield showed improvement throughout his sophomore year, as he played better against Young and Ohio State than he did in earlier games, like against Penn State for example. It was an impressive debut for Mayfield, and Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh was bullish about Mayfield being even better in 2020. As a junior, Mayfield played well, but also missed time with injuries, and given the shortened season, he did not have much of an opportunity to build on his 2019 season. After the season, Mayfield showed a lack of judgement, or ignorance, or willingness to do due diligence when he signed with the agency that protected sexual predator Harvey Weinstein.
Mayfield has the skill set to be a starter at the NFL thanks to having quality size, athleticism and quickness. In pass protection, he has enough quickness and athleticism on the edge to neutralize speed rushers. While he is not an elite athlete or especially fast, Mayfield is quick out of his stance and gets in position to wall off defenders. When taking on bull rushes, Mayfield gives up a little ground, but then is able to anchor with enough lower body strength to keep himself from getting pushed into the quarterback. Mayfield uses solid technique to get good depth in his drop and is able to play the typewriter with his feet to mirror speed rushers. Mayfield possesses quality feet, and while they're not elite, they're above average.
There are aspects of Mayfield's game that need improvement, and he should improve his technique for taking on NFL defensive linemen. At times, Mayfield lunges after defenders, and he can get his weight too far over his toes. That leads to him missing some blocks in space especially. There are also times when he gives up up ground in bull rushes. He gets too wide with his hands as well, which allows defenders to get into his chest to rock him back. While Mayfield has some flaws that lead to him giving up ground, he shows nice recoverability and an ability to re-engage defenders before a rush becomes catastrophic.
In the ground game, Mayfield is a solid contributor at the point of attack. He is not an overpowering road grader like Brandon Scherff was coming out of Iowa, and Mayfield is not as good of a run blocker as Andrew Thomas was at Georgia or Jedrick Wills at Alabama, but Mayfield is dependable to execute his assignment. He has the strength to control, turn and manipulate defenders at the point of attack. Mayfield is able to hit blocks on the second level and able to kick out to the perimeter. With his fighting temperament, Mayfield blocks through the whistle and sustains his blocks. He should be a solid run blocker in the NFL.
Mayfield could use refinement for the next level, but has the ability to become a starter. Mayfield has a shot at sneaking into the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, he and looks safe to go on day two if he is not selected on the opening night.
Player Comparison: Taylor Moton. For the NFL, Mayfield reminds me of Moton. Both are athletic right tackles who have enough quickness and athleticism to match up against speed rushers yet possess the strength to anchor. They both are solid run blockers as well. Mayfield was a second-round pick in 2017 out of Western Michigan, and Mayfield could be a second-round or late first-rounder in the 2021 NFL Draft.