An athlete whose name has been attached to Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft before he was ever draft eligible, the jury remains out on where Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer will actually go come late April. A prospect whose performance floor remains one of the highest in the class, here are my favorite fits for the 6-foot-4, 249-pound pass-catcher.
Green Bay Packers
It looks to be Jordan Love’s offense to captain, and providing the young signal-caller with a sure-handed weapon over the intermediate areas of the offense would be a welcomed addition. The skill players for the Packers are extremely young, and while Michael Mayer will only be 22 during his rookie campaign, his leadership and versatility in the run/pass will boost both facets of the Green Bay offense.
New Orleans Saints
Derek Carr loved targeting Darren Waller in Las Vegas. Why not try to replicate even a sliver of that with Mayer? The former Golden Domer isn’t comparable to Waller as a modern-day ‘F’ that can outrun smaller safeties and slower linebackers, but he understands how to sit in zone, is excellent in winning the leverage battle in tight confines, and will be a red-zone threat from day one.
They don’t need Mayer to be what T.J. Hockenson was. With Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams primed to become one of the league’s elite young duos on the outside, and D’Andre Swift backed up by David Montgomery in the ground game, Mayer’s ability to thrive over the intermediate areas of the field would fit seamlessly within an offense that remains extremely underrated.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cade Otton enjoyed a nice rookie year last fall and Ko Kieft will knock your chin strap off in the run game, but Mayer could be TE1 right away to present a nice portfolio of options in multiple-tight-end sets. While there are sexier options in the class as matchup nightmares in space, Mayer will play for a decade—or more—due to his ability to play both in-line and dominate the shallow to intermediate areas of an aerial attack.
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