NAME: Alize Mack
SCHOOL: Notre Dame
POSITION: Tight End
CLASS: RS Junior
JERSEY: No. 86
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 251 lbs
Route-Running – Smooth operator who is best on a vertical plane. Can accelerate out of subtle breaks up the seam or on Post routes, but struggles to transition on horizontal cuts. Not especially full of burst in his route running, but passable for a tight end. Does not necessarily generate a ton of separation against man coverage as a result. Does a nice job of finding space in-between linebacker spot-drops, settling at the sticks and using his broad frame to create throwing windows.
Ball Skills – Mack’s combination of ball skills and body control gives him massive potential above the rim. His seamless ability to alter and adjust his frame while extending high into the sky, all while climbing the ladder as a leaper is rare. He uses his broad frame to box-out smaller defenders, and pluck the ball out of the air. On a consistency basis, Mack’s can have awkward hand placement when not asked to high-point. Almost needs to be put in a position when full extension is needed in order to unlock his ball skills. Nonetheless, pretty strong hands through contact. Will suffer from the occasional concentration drop, but was better in this area in 2018.
Speed – More swift than explosive, Mack has solid speed for a tight end. When built up, he has the long speed to separate away from defenders in the open field. Catch and run against Syracuse was the prime example of his speed in space, as he wastes little motion as a straight-line runner.
Run Blocking – Mack is more of a positional blocker, as he rarely drives a defender back. He has thickness in his frame that allows him to hold his ground while torquing linebackers with the strength in his upper body. Processes quickly, and have an understanding of the running back’s desired path in order to get his frame in-between. Asked to block from tight end and H-back, and showed plus ability on split zone or as a puller. Projecting him to the next level, his lack of movement after engagement could lead to easier block destruction against NFL athletes.
Contested Catch – An area where Mack has thrived because of his broad frame and ball skills. Projects beautifully into this area at the next level, because of his film and ability to win through contact. Nearly zero concerns in this area.
YAC – Does not offer much elusiveness as a ball carrier, even in space. Lacks shiftiness or lateral movements to create missed tackles, and doesn’t have the power to break tackles with consistency. Lacks an easy transition from pass catcher to runner, opting more to be of the possession mold as a receiver. With the ball in his hands, gets straight upfield to pick up yardage that is offered.
Separation Quickness – Not an immediate separator by any means, and at his best when asked to find space up the seam. His lack of quickness when asked to change of direction doesn’t come back to haunt him too often, as he’s asked to perform in more of a vertical presence at Notre Dame. However, will be asked to fulfill a more advanced route tree at the next level, and needs development in his breaks in order to thrive more in the intermediate. I’m not sure he has the physical capabilities to become elite in this area, but we’ve seen lesser athletic tight ends become more than passable as separators in the NFL.
Pass Protection – Surprisingly solid in this regard considering how often he is asked to be a receiver. Notre Dame will use him as a blocker in a lot of play-action schemes, and he does a good job of using his broad frame to swallow up defenders and at least stop their pass rush charge. Generally a good processor and will find work when no rush shows immediately.
Competitive Toughness – Not an overly physical player, but isn’t soft by any means. Has taken brutal shots and returned to the game, willing to sacrifice his body over the middle. While not a dominating blocker, has solid strength throughout his frame that he can use on occasion.
Athleticism/Size – Smooth with plus athletic traits, it’s no wonder that Mack was highly regarded coming out of high school. NFL-ready frame with length and size in his upper body, he has a natural physical profile asked of the modern tight end. Will likely test well at the NFL Scouting Combine.
BEST TRAIT – Body Control
WORST TRAIT – YAC
RED FLAGS – Sat out sophomore season in order to get back on track with his academics. Batted injuries during his junior season before being suspended for the Citrus Bowl due to a violation of team rules.
Summary – The production slowly began to match the potential of Alize Mack in his senior season. After multiple lost seasons as a sophomore and junior, Mack has been pointed upwards during this season both on and off the field.
As a player, Mack can become an NFL starter at tight end. His feel for high pointing the football gives him redzone potential upon entering the league. With his ability up the seam, he is slight developments as a route runner away from being starter level as a receiving tight end. Will likely never be a dominant blocker, but can get by in both the run and pass game because of his natural strength. Mack will participate in January’s Senior Bowl.
PROS: Size, length and speed are all excellent. Has the ability to run away from linebackers and most safeties to stretch the field. Smooth mover with excellent overall fluidity. Long strides eat up ground quickly. Has made some outstanding concentration catches outside of his frame at Notre Dame. High-point ability and hand strength are clearly present, at least in flashes.
Has the frame to handle in-line duties if he can continue to improve his technique and get more tenacious. Good stalk blocker in space, patient in his approach and gets hands inside his opponent. Mismatch potential as a slot threat should have NFL teams excited.
CONS: Raw player who clearly needs work on attention to detail. Can be slow out of his stance and into his routes. Can he vary his pace and show more suddenness out of breaks to create separation? Routes are still a work-in-progress, rounds off too many breaks and makes life easy on defenders.
Physicality can be a concern on the field at times. Doesn’t finish plays strong, especially with the ball in his hands. Easily discarded by defensive ends in the run game. Needs to run his feet through contact a lot better and not settle for stalemates as an in-line blocker. Must run routes a lot harder to create maximum separation at all times.
Focus, effort and work ethic have been major concerns during his time at Notre Dame. Was suspended the entire 2016 season for being academically ineligible, and has admitted not putting his best into football. Suspended last season for the bowl game against LSU for “an internal issue”. Has had issues with drops during his time at Notre Dame. Only 19 career receptions heading into 2018 season, so still a lot to learn about him as a player.