2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame

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2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame


Michael Mayer will be one of the first tight ends drafted this year, and most likely the first given his proven track record and potential in the NFL as a receiving tight end. Mayer was the Gatorade Kentucky Football Player of the Year as a high school senior with 970 yards and 15 touchdowns on 49 receptions. He committed to Notre Dame where he became a starting tight end as a freshman.

Height: 6-5
Weight: 249 pounds
40 time: 4.7 seconds

Mayer led Notre Dame in receptions for all three years, and produced the most receiving touchdowns for the last two.  He logged over 800 receiving yards in just 12 games for his final two seasons. That’s the equivalent of 1,100 yards spread over an NFL season. Last year, he turned in nine touchdowns while no other receiver had more than three. Mayer was the center of their passing effort and their best offensive weapon on a team that went 11-2 and 9-4 during the most recent seasons.

Table: Player NCAA stats (2020-22)

Year School Games Catch Yards Avg. TD Rush Yards TD
2020 Notre Dame 12 42 450 10.7 2 0 0 0
2021 Notre Dame 12 71 840 11.8 7 0 0 0
2022 Notre Dame 12 67 809 12.1 9 0 0 0

Mayer finished as Notre Dame’s all-time leader in tight-end receptions with 180 and holds the team tight-end season records for catches (67) and touchdowns (9). He was a finalist for the John Mackey Award for the best college tight end.


  • The prototypical size and measurables for a receiving tight end
  • Excellent in press coverage in fighting off defenders
  • Can be split out wide
  • Considered best blocking tight end in class
  • Wins the contested catches
  • Valuable end zone target
  • Soft hands that do not drop passes
  • Adept at finding soft spots in zones and offering a big target
  • Understands how to set up defenders
  • Mismatch against smaller defensive backs


  • Lacks breakaway speed
  • Needs to expand his route tree to meet his potential
  • Needs quicker hands on blocks

Fantasy outlook

While Mayer is a solid blocker – and that gets him on the field as a rookie – he is an accomplished pass catcher that shined even as a freshman at Notre Dame and served as their best receiver for all three seasons. The Fighting Irish like their receiving tight ends and he took over for Cole Kmet.

Mayer will be drafted by a team looking to expand their passing game to include a heavy-use tight end. He’s carried the nickname “Baby Gronk” since he was a freshman and is likened to Jason Witten and Mark Andrews. The expectation is that Mayer is a slam-dunk first-rounder with no downside and the potential to become one of the next elite tight ends in the NFL. As with all rookie tight ends, Mayer will need to focus more on his blocking initially but should catch on as a receiver very quickly.

Teams expected to use the NFL draft for an early tight end include the  Bills, Lions, Packers and Patriots. Mayer won’t be more than a depth pick in redraft fantasy leagues, but his value in dynasty leagues is considerable since he should not take much time to be incorporated into his team’s passing scheme.


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