Future Blue Originals: Grand Rapids Catholic Central vs. Detroit Country Day

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on September 13th, 2017 at 11:09 AM

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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]

Scouting

Offense

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.

Defense

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.

Summary

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.

Comments

ak47

September 13th, 2017 at 11:15 AM ^

Both these guys should be greg frey specials but would be nice to see an OT recruit who doesn't need 2+ years of college to be ready given the projected depth chart at OT next year, especially since I don't trust Newsome will be back until he is actually back.

Gentleman Squirrels

September 13th, 2017 at 11:49 AM ^

With Oline recruits, you're almost always going to have people wait a couple years. Honestly, its inadvisalbe to have freshman recruits playing on the oline just because they would make more mistakes. Even Bredeson last year, who was very well regarded coming out of high school, made major mistakes and is going to get better with more coaching. The main thing for Michigan right now is to establish depth at these positions and to coach the talent that is currently there (Steuber, Honginford, Hall, Filiaga) and get those players to contribute, while they coach up these high ceiling players.

ak47

September 13th, 2017 at 12:25 PM ^

Of course its not ideal to have to start a freshman but it can still happen, Bama did it a couple of years ago. At least a couple of those tackle prospects have been id'd as better guard prospects and while Ulizio can obviously improve the fact that those guys aren't better options than him means they would have to take massive rs fr leaps just to get to average tackle play.

Michigan4Life

September 13th, 2017 at 11:50 AM ^

he's a work in progress but that is true for all HS OL. His pass set isn't where it's needed to be aka getting out quickly. One thing that frustrate me is his hand placement. He doesn't shoot his hands into defender's chest and it doesn't look like he has a hand punch where he can jolt defenders upright. He has athleticism to stick at OT.

For run blocking, there are moments where he finishes off blocks but like you noted that he doesn't play to the whistle which would drive Harbaugh crazy if he's on the team right now. Like in pass pro, he needs to do a better job at shooting his hands quickly or he'll get beaten.

This is where Greg Frey comes in. Hopefully, he can coach him up, tehnically wise if Mayfield were to see time on the field.

Cranky Dave

September 13th, 2017 at 1:17 PM ^

you're right but at this point I don't see Lewan.  As others have pointed out, he's fairly athletic but runs past guys then reaches back.  He definitely takes plays off.  the first pass play he nearly gave up a sack  by halfheartedly shoving the DE as he ran by.

Mayfield certainly has the physical tools but looks to need a lot of work. 

outsidethebox

September 13th, 2017 at 2:11 PM ^

The problem here is that he is playing against some kids that he can dominate by looking at them. It is most difficult for him or anyone to maintain focus under these circumstances. 

I have seen several plays where he is running downfield...oh my...the kids an outstanding athlete!!! He has excellent fluidity. He is going to be just fine!!!

ShadowStorm33

September 13th, 2017 at 3:07 PM ^

I asked a similar question in the Hayes article, but why is Mayfield exclusively a RT? Is it his height/arm length (although isn't he similar to Cole, at least height wise?)? Also, you're projecting both to RT?