Name: Michael Mayer
Position: Tight end
School: Notre Dame
Ht/Wt: 6-4, 249
40-yard dash: 4.7 seconds
Bench: Did not bench
Vertical: 32.5 inches
3-cone: 4.31 seconds (pro day)
20-yard shuttle: 6.97 seconds (pro day)
View photos of NFL prospect Michael Mayer.
How he fits: Mayer has a drawn a lot of comparisons to former Cowboys Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten. He's a big combination tight end with size, production as a pass catcher, and the demeanor to block in the run game.
He caught 67 passes for 809 yards (12.1 average) with nine touchdowns this past season. That after catching 71 balls for 840 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore. He set the Notre Dame record for tight ends in single-season receptions and receiving yards in 2021 and is the school's all-time leader in all three categories for the position.
The Lions traded Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson last year at the trade deadline but their production at the position didn't see a decline the second half of the season. In fact, the Lions set a franchise record for touchdowns from the tight end position with 12 (Hockenson, 3; Brock Wright, 4; Shane Zylstra, 4; James Mitchell, 1).
Wright, Mitchell and Zylstra are all back in 2023, but adding a player like Mayer would help round out that room with four solid contributors.
Key observations: Mayer is not only one of the most productive pass-catching tight ends in this year's class, but he's probably the best in-line blocker of the bunch as well, which is very important to OC Ben Johnson and the Lions.
What they had to say about him: "Mayer is a physical tight end with strong hands and value in the run game. He lines up in-line, on the wing or flexed in the slot. He isn't a sudden mover, but he understands how to set up defenders and utilizes his big frame to box out down the field.
"He's excellent when making catches in congested areas. After the catch, he has the strength to drag tacklers for extra yards. He is a very dependable run blocker, as well. He latches on and runs his feet to create movement. Overall, Mayer doesn't have elite athleticism, but he's a complete tight end who will be ready to contribute right away." – Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Media analyst.
How he stacks up: This is a loaded tight end class, maybe the best in a decade, and Mayer is right there at the top of it by most draft analysts.
Jeremiah lists Mayer as the No. 21 overall prospect in the class and the No. 2 tight end behind Utah's Dalton Kincaid. He comes in at No. 24 overall and the No. 1 tight end by Dane Brugler of The Athletic.
NFL.com's Bucky Brooks, along with ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, Jordan Reid and Matt Miller all list Mayer as the best tight end in the class.
What he had to say: "I'd say my receiving," Mayer said at the Combine when asked what he thought his best trait on the football field was. "Look, I can block anybody you need me to block, but I feel like my red zone, my third down, I can really go up and get that ball, I can make contested catches and I can really route people up. So, I can have that connection with that quarterback also. He knows where I'm going to be. He knows how I'm going to run my route, and I know where that quarterback is gonna be putting that ball."