With the 40th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft the Seattle Seahawks selected edge rusher Boye Mafe out of Minnesota. Outside of tackle, which was addressed Thursday and Friday with the selections of Charles Cross and Abe Lucas, there’s an argument to be made that edge is Seattle’s most pressing need. The team’s leading sack-getter in 2021, Carlos Dunlap, was released and remains unsigned, while Seattle’s quarterback pressures leader from last season, Rasheem Green, is a free agent. Darrell Taylor is coming off a strong season in which he totaled 6.5 sacks, 22 pressures and 7 hurries. Free agent addition Uchenna Nwosu generated 30 pressures and 13 hurries with the Los Angeles Chargers. Outside of Taylor and Nwosu, Seattle is relatively light in players who can get after the quarterback. Does that change with Mofe? Here’s the report.
Prospect: Boye Mafe
Games watched: 2021 Ohio State, Nebraska, Maryland, West Virginia
Measurables: 6 foot 3 - 261 pounds
- Mafe’s best attribute is his hand usage. He displays a fantastic hand swipe which he uses once he is within striking range of the blocker and instantly attacks them right after the swipe. He flashes what can be an above average swim move with how quick his hands are getting them over the top of the blocker.
- Mafe occasionally incorporated a long arm move where he struck blockers right in the chest with one hand to try and control them at the point of contact. This is something that needs more seasoning, although due to his length and strength it could become a slightly above average down the road. He also showed a push and pull move which thanks to his length and strength was a strong move when used.
- When lined up over the guard he does a good job of striking the guard in the chest to get himself out in front of the tackle and attack their outside shoulder. Despite being lined up inside he still possesses the speed and athleticism to beat the tackle to the outside.
- Mafe is an uber athletic player which shows constantly on film. He has fantastic length which he incorporates in both the running and passing game. He has great explosion off of the line taking one to two steps to reach his top speed. He is a bendy athlete in both who can get around the edge with relative ease.
- Mafe is comfortable in zone coverage as he more often than not is able to get on his toes and keep his eyes in on the quarterbacks. His eyes do not dart from spot to spot. He keeps a good crouch in zone coverage which allows him to come up and break on the football.
- He is an extremely versatile player as he lined up on both the left and right side of the line in both a two- and three-point stance. He also can reduce down to a three tech and play out to a nine tech but he took the majority of his snaps as a stand up five tech.
- Mafe has a fantastic motor as he is able to get involved in plays when they are ran to the opposite side of him as well as well as runs that make it into the second level. When he gets stood up rather than giving up on the play he continues to fight through the block which resulted in multiple effort tackles and sacks. When he cannot disengage he does a good job of trying to get his hands up in the passing lane which with his length will result in multiple batted down passes.
- Mafe struggles to gain leverage against blockers playing with a high pad level and not getting too much bend in his knees. This shows in the running game more than the passing game as he does struggle in the short yardage game.
- Mafe received a lot more snaps in passing situations compared to obvious running situations. He is raw against the run as he has limited backfield vision and struggles to keep edge contain. When holding the edge, he takes too many slide steps to the inside which completely opens up the edge. He is late to react on option plays as he does not often see the handoff. He gets flatfooted on the edge rather than staying on his toes and reacting off of it.
- Mafe does not have a go-to counter move outside of trying to keep his lower half moving and slap away the blocker’s hands. He does need to develop some type of counter move to reach his ceiling as a pass rusher.
Mafe is a great scheme fit for Clint Hurtt’s defense. He is a versatile player that Hurtt will be able to use all over the defensive line as a stand-up edge or with his hand in the dirt. Mafe showed the potential to be an above average zone defender which will be key in this 3-4 defense. He has a great motor and pursuit in what is expected to be a more aggressive defense.
Mafe is a great pick for Seattle, and he will instantly come in as a key rotational piece who can generate pressure on third down and obvious passing scenarios. If he can fix some of his issues in the run game that were stated above, he has the potential to be a starter very early in his career and at his peak he can be a 10-12 sack player.