new Braden shot every week y’all [Nasternak]
David and I headed to Grand Rapids Catholic Central’s gleaming new facility to see Jalen Mayfield’s Catholic Central squad play a rematch of last season’s D4 title game. Mayfield stood out among his peers physically; see the above photo for evidence. He’s every bit of the 6’5” the recruiting services have him listed at. His build is similar to Traverse City West’s Ryan Hayes; unlike Hayes, he’s exclusively a right tackle. That’s not to say that Mayfield isn’t athletic. The every-snap film is below so you can check it out for yourself.
Jalen Mayfield Every-Snap Film
Mayfield is #74 and lined up exclusively at right tackle.
[Hit THE JUMP for scouting and more film]
Mayfield plays with a physical edge O-line coaches love to see—when he feels like it. There were times where he was able to bury the opposition, but there were more times where he made the initial block, came off of it before the play was whistled down, and inadvertently allowed his man to get back in on the play. He needs to work on playing through the whistle to avoid plays like those at 2:42 and 3:29.
Run-blocking in a gap scheme is Mayfield’s strength. He displays physicality and proper hand placement, though he needs to play with better leverage more consistently. Once he gets his hands on a defender, they only escape when Mayfield allows them to. The times he got himself into trouble were the times that he got too far upright too quickly. Mayfield’s feet appeared to be a plus in run blocking, but his pass protection game isn’t nearly as developed. He again gets upright too quickly and his kick step shortens, which doesn’t allow him to get much depth.
Mayfield certainly has the athleticism to play in space, but he needs to work on his targeting. He has the speed to get to the second level and take on a linebacker before the backer can get involved in the play, but he displayed hesitancy in diagnosing his assignment in space. The best example of this is at 1:06, where Mayfield is uncovered and obviously gets to the second level with plenty of time to make the block but slows up three yards off the line. When he does target correctly and get his hands into a guy (see 5:05), he’s strong enough to drive a linebacker* one lane over.
*FWIW, that linebacker is Kolin Demens, Kenny’s little brother and a three-star UCLA lean.
Mayfield made the most of an advantageous matchup and spent a fair amount of time in the backfield, but it’s still far more likely that he ends up on the offensive line at Michigan. He did diagnose plays well, though, and this staff is liable to flip anyone so, uh, welcome, person-from-2019-who’s-really-good-at-digging-and-found-this-video.
Mayfield’s got the length and frame to be a DI tackle, but there’s quite a bit of work to do before he’s ready to see the field. He’ll need to continue to add upper and lower body strength, though that’s the case for almost any lineman making the jump to high-level college football. More importantly, Mayfield needs to play with better leverage and consistency. His tenacity is impressive when on display; his hand placement allows him to twist the opposition into the dirt with frequency. Targeting in space and pass-pro footwork are other areas for improvement. The issues Mayfield had in pass protection stood out because he’s been very strong in this area in the camp film I’ve seen; this is an area where there was a striking difference between camp drills and live reps. Mayfield has the requisite physical tools and, at times, attitude to play right tackle at Michigan, but he’ll need to improve his ability to target in space, play with proper leverage, and increase the frequency with which he plays physically.