On the eve of the NFL Draft, Michigan's Jalen Mayfield says the decision to draft him is a simple one.
"If you don't want your QB hit, take me. Simple as that."
Though Mayfield only played two games for Michigan during the 2020 season due to injury, he did more than enough during the 2019 season to grab the attention of NFL scouts. As a sophomore in 2019, Mayfield started all 13 games for Michigan and even added contributions on special teams.
Perhaps his best performance as a Wolverine came in week 12 against Ohio State, a game in which Mayfield would spend the afternoon locking horns with the eventual No. 2 overall pick Chase Young. For much of the 2019 season, Young was an absolute nightmare on the defensive side of the ball and was a legitimate threat to win the Heisman trophy. However, when Young travelled to Ann Arbor for 'The Game', Mayfield proved to be more than capable locking down one of college football's most dominant pass-rushers. Thanks to Mayfield, Young would finish the afternoon with his worst performance of an otherwise spectacular 2019 season - failing to make a sack or even a tackle.
With Mayfield now projected to go anywhere between round one to round three, here is what Lance Zierlein of NFL.com has to say about the former Wolverine ahead of the draft.
Athletic tackle with just over 1,000 college snaps to his name. He plays with alert eyes and well-balanced pass sets, but an excessive punch wind-up and lack of anchor will make it tough for him to slow NFL power rushers at this juncture. His initial quickness tends to help him more as a run blocker than in pass sets, where speed can be a problem for him from time to time. He's experienced in all run schemes, and his drive blocking should improve if he can drop the pad level and sharpen his hand placement and technique. Mayfield is tough and has upside, but he is going to need to get much stronger and play with better contact balance in order to handle the NFL bullies that are headed his way. He has starting potential, but it might take some time."
You can catch the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, April 29th at 8 pm EST on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network.