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  • Scouting Report Series – Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota

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    As a preview of our 2022 Rookie Magazine, here is our Scouting Report Series. If you’d like to pre-order your copy of the Rookie Mag, click here!


    Player Introduction

    Boye Mafe is a standup defensive end who made a solid progression in each of his four seasons with the Minnesota Gophers. He recently showed at the 2022 Senior Bowl that he could make an impact playing with his hand in the dirt.

    Mafe is a super athletic and explosive edge who flashes a lot of big playability. With a strong frame and length, he looks to be a solid mid-round selection in this year’s draft. Those mid-rounds will be interesting in what projects as a deep edge rusher class.

    Measurables

    Height – 6’4”
    Hands – 9⅛ ”
    Weight – 265 lbs
    Arms – 33¾”
    Speed – 4.57 sec
    Wing Span – 81⅛” 

     

    Notable Headlines

    Mafe decided to forgo his last year of eligibility and prepare for the NFL draft. He attended Hopkins High School where he received All-State 2nd Team honors as a senior. In his junior and senior seasons combined, Mafe tallied a total of 118 tackles, 13 TFLs, and 5 sacks. 247 Sports Composite ranked him as the fifth-ranked player in Minnesota and graded him as a three-star recruit.

    Mafe redshirted in 2017 and got his first action in 2018, recording 12 tackles in 10 games. His best performance of the season was against Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl, where he recorded six tackles. As an r-sophomore in 2019, Mafe played in all 13 games for the Gophers. Playing primarily in a backup role, he recorded 14 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, and 3 sacks on the season.

    In the 2020 season shortened by Covid-19, Mafe played in six games during his r-junior year. This was his first season in a starting role. He registered a total of 27 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, 2 PBUs, and 2 forced fumbles.

    His final season in Minnesota ended up being 2021, where Mafe put together his best season. He played in all 13 games, making 9 starts, and recording 34 tackles, 10 TFLs, and 7 sacks. Mafe chose to forgo his final season of eligibility (extra covid year) and declare for the NFL draft.

    In his career in Minnesota, Mafe played in 41 total games and started in 9. In those 41 games, he recorded 87 tackles — 59 solos and 9½ for a loss — with 8 sacks, 3 PBUs, and 3 forced fumbles.

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    Scouting Report

    Positives

    Mafe is an athletic and explosive standup defensive end who shows fluid movements in space. He plays with a high motor and does a nice job at getting off blocks. Mafe has good body control, does a really good job of navigating through traffic, and can create space for himself.

    He has displayed the ability to drop and cover the flat very effectively, as well as routinely staying on top of wheel routes. Mafe does a good job of using burst and speed to get o-linemen skating on their heels. He displays good strength — especially in the upper body — has strong hands, and understands how to use them to his advantage.

    Mafe is a run and chase defender, with great pursuit traits to track down ball carriers from the backside. He has a solid base of pass rush moves in his toolbox and does a good job of mixing them up, to keep blockers guessing. Mafe has a contagious energy that teammates feed off of and has a lot of potential, despite being a one-year starter.

    Negatives

    Mafe has played mostly as a standup defensive end, so there are concerns if he can play routinely and effectively with his hand in the dirt. So much so that he was asked to play with his hand in the dirt at the Senior Bowl. Mafe is below average at anchoring and holding ground, especially against top-end offensive tackles.

    With that, he’s not the best run defender and needs to clean up his tackling. He also needs to improve his leverage instead of trying to overpower with upper body strength. Mafe plays too upright, which is another negative towards his poor leverage game. He — more often than not — loses the anticipation of the snap battle, which allows blockers to gain the upper hand.

    Mafe has a decent amount of pass rush tools but needs to expand and develop counters to be more effective at the next level. In a draft class that is pretty deep with talent at the EDGE position, teams are going to have their choice of quality options. It may have been better for him to use his covid season and wait to enter the 2023 draft class.

    Pre-Draft Analysis

    Expected Draft Capital – Second Round

    Expected Role – Situational pass rusher

    Potential Landing Spots

    While there is a lot to like about Mafe and his potential, the team that drafts him is going to need to have patience with him. He may need some time to develop and clean up some of the weaker points of his game. Let’s take a look at three potential landing spots that I believe would be a great fit for him.

    Las Vegas

    The Las Vegas Raiders would be an intriguing fit for Mafe. They have a new coaching staff coming in, so they’ll want their guys in place. The Raiders have a couple of good pass rushers in Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue but need some depth behind them.

    The Raiders’ first-round pick in 2019 (fourth overall) Clelin Ferrell has turned out to be a bust and 2021 third-round pick Malcolm Koonce is a raw prospect. Free-agent pickup, Carl Nassib, has been their best option off the bench, but that’s not saying a lot. Las Vegas needs a youngster that they can develop and have ready within the next year or so, and Mafe has that potential.

    Houston

    The Houston Texans need talent everywhere on their roster. Defensively, they are desperate for a pass rusher. Their top pass rusher was Jonathan Greenard with eight sacks but, outside of that, they had no one with more than four. Mafe could be on new head coach Lovie Smith’s radar as Smith saw Mafe’s game first hand from his time as Illinois head coach.

    With all their needs, the Texans may not get one of the top pass rushers in this class. Getting Mafe on day two would be a great value pick that fills a need for them.

    Atlanta

    The Atlanta Falcons have holes everywhere they need to fill, but there is more on defense than offense. They will likely spend their early picks on offense to try and give Matt Ryan more weapons.

    Defensively their pass rush is poor at best. Dante Fowler is their sack leader with 4.5 sacks of the team’s total of 18. Mafe, while still raw, could step in right away with his energetic play and provide some sparks for a team that just needs talent. 


    Thanks for reading my article. I am a member of the FSWA (Fantasy Sports Writers of America). You can read more of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Follow me on Twitter at @HollywoodTitan, on Facebook on my IDPNation page, on Reddit in the fantasy football IDP sub — I’m user KingTitan1 — and tune in each week and listen to IDP Nation and Devy IDP Grind, the podcasts that I co-host, on several different platforms. Feel free to hit me up with any questions that you have, as I’m always glad to help fellow IDPers. #IDPNation #IDP #IDPDevy.

     

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