Michael Mayer would fit the Cincinnati Bengals like a glove.
Well, he is from the area and a graduate of Covington Catholic High School, which is less than 10 minutes away from Paycor Stadium.
And he was physical, highly-productive, and sure-handed in his college career, all attributes the Bengals are looking for in Joe Burrow’s long-term solution at tight end.
But, like Cincinnati’s QB, he actually doesn’t beat you with his athleticism as much as other elite players at his position might do. Rather, he beats you by understanding defenses.
Here’s what Sports Illustrated’s Mike Santagata wrote about Mayer in March:
Mayer does not have elite quickness or change of direction. Instead, he wins by setting himself up well, understanding leverage, intelligence, and craftiness. His push-off at the breakpoint is not yet perfect because he extends his arm a bit too far, but it was very effective at the collegiate level. He works well on underneath and intermediate routes to create separation in man and processes zone well to find soft spots.
That sounds like the perfect person to pair with Burrow.
Meanwhile, Mayer would be an upgrade over the Bengals’ previous tight end, Hayden Hurst, in terms of blocking. Yes, as Santagata notes, the Notre Dame product doesn’t have the longest arms, which limits him in sustaining blocks, but he does do a nice job of opening up lanes in the running game.
March 7, 2023
Of course, the question now is, will Mayer be available at pick number 28? Rumors suggest that the Dallas Cowboys will nab him at 26 (if he’s there), but there’s always the chance a player they were really high on drops in their laps and alters their course.
For more on Mayer and players the Bengals will be (or should be) targeting, watch our Draft preview:
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