The Las Vegas Raiders made waves recently in announcing that they would be trading right tackle Trent Brown to the New England Patriots.
While a trade or release had been forecast for some time, having the move now be reality puts renewed emphasis on the Raiders to find a replacement at the right tackle.
One player they could look at taking in the 2021 NFL Draft is Michigan tackle Jalen Mayfield.
Compared to other top prospects in the 2021 class, Mayfield is rather inexperienced. He only has one full season as a starter under his belt, that being at right tackle for the Wolverines in 2019.
Mayfield originally planned on opting out of the 2020 season but did end up playing in Michigan’s first two games before being injured.
Despite that inexperience, the 20-year-old has been talked about as a potential first-round pick.
Mayfield's athleticism has a lot to do with that, as the 6-5, 320-pounder moves very well for a man of his size. That mobility allows him to handle speed rushers well and have no problem moving up to the second level.
He also brings significant raw power, putting a lot of pancake blocks on tape and being able to hold up against bull rushes.
Considering his inexperience, it shouldn’t be surprising that the main flaws in Mayfield’s game come in the technical aspects.
He can get too high with his hands in pass protection, can get himself off-balance in his stance, and sometimes overextends and is unable to gain leverage.
Whatever team takes him will be aware that while Mayfield has great tools, there is a good amount that will need fixing.
Those issues have even had some analysts think he might be better at guard moving forward since he wouldn’t be as exposed there.
Mayfield has shown the ability to succeed at tackle, though, and for a team like the Raiders that now needs one, his potential could make them very interested.
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