The Seattle Seahawks’ offseason efforts to bolster its inconsistent pass rush included drafting former Minnesota star Boye Mafe at 40th overall back in April. There’s no doubt that the Seahawks will look to Mafe (among others) to revive a unit that was one of the league’s worst at generating pressure in 2021.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has heaped plenty of praise upon Mafe, and he’s whipped out the comparison to a fellow Big Ten alum and team legend Cliff Avril.
“He’s really talented. He’s the closest looking fit to Cliff Avril that we’ve seen,” Carroll said at Thursday’s minicamp media session (quotes via All Seahawks) . “The explosion, the flexibility, the bend that he has. Cliff had a great career for us in the league and if he can get anywhere near that, it would be a great plus for us. It looks like he’s got the chance to be that kind of player, but we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully he’s gonna work with Cliff this offseason, that’s gonna help.”
This is minicamp, and it’s around this time of the year that coaches hyping up the young talents is at its peak. But how much of this particular comparison hyperbole? Their Relative Athletic Scores may raise your eyebrows a bit.
Yeah... I think Pete Carroll might be onto something comparing Boye Mafe to @cliffavril.— Corbin K. Smith (@CorbinSmithNFL) June 9, 2022
Near identical numbers in 40, 20, and 10-yard split, similar size, and their stats from their last two seasons playing in the Big Ten were near identical. pic.twitter.com/54gbubAZzj
Carroll isn’t the only one to draw the line from Mafe to Avril. NFL Network’s Cynthia Frelund made the same assessment before the Seahawks even drafted him, citing that get-off at the snap as one of his best traits.
Again, it’s June so don’t get too hyped up, but get yourself hyped up just enough to want to watch him in preseason. And you know that Cliff will always be willing to help mentor young Seahawks pass rushers.