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What the experts predicted about Boye Mafe, Pete Carroll’s ‘most improved’ player

The edge rusher out of Minnesota just needed some time, now he’s ready.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Ask anybody, second-year pass rusher Boye Mafe was one of the standouts of the first preseason game.

It’s not just that; Pete Carroll himself has said Mafe is possibly the most improved player on the Seattle Seahawks from 2022 to now.

So, how’d he get here?

Let’s take a quick look back at what the experts and profiles were on Mafe coming out of Minnesota, and what this does for the team moving forward.

Draft Network:

Mafe is a high-tools prospect on the edge who projects best to the pro game as a traditional 3-4 rush outside linebacker. Mafe offers great athleticism on the edge and his flashes of effortless movement skills in space are an easy sell when projecting his pro game to the next level. I do believe Mafe is more of a developmental player than a plug-and-play starter, but the trajectory of Mafe’s play with the Gophers has been on a steady increase for the entirety of his career with the program.

His combination of rare explosive measurables with average fundamentals could make for a perfect storm of rapid development once he gets focused skill work at the pro level. Pairing efficient hand work with twitchy upper-body power could turn him into a productive rush bully.

Bleacher Report:

Mafe’s explosiveness, hip flexibility and hand usage all make him a worthwhile project to invest in. For now, he is likely just a designated pass-rusher and passing-down weapon, but he does have the size to eventually bloom into a functional run defender over time.

In short, all of the tools and upside, with plenty of consensus that he “could be” very good. Most of the time, this type of assessment doesn’t pan out, but it sure looks to be the case with Mafe through a couple months of work.

Perhaps the addition of BT Jordan as pass-rush specialist has helped here.

Looking back to last season, Mafe had only 422 snaps on defense, compared with 1,134 from fellow rookie Riq Woolen.

The development has continued throughout this offseason, and would be a huge boon to a team that signed Dre’Mont Jones and then just kinda...sat around for most of the defensive line market.

Seattle’s in an envious spot with the absurd amount of contributors they’ll have on both sides of the ball out of the 2022 and 2023 drafts.