The Buffalo Bills famously missed out on drafting Rob Gronkowski, passing over the future Hall of Famer and hometown star in the 2010 NFL Draft in the first and second rounds.
They could now have a chance to snag a tight end who earned the nickname “Baby Gronk” — Notre Dame pass-catcher Michael Mayer. The versatile tight end met with the Bills at the NFL Combine, and afterward spoke out about meeting with Buffalo’s brass and shared his thoughts on potentially playing with quarterback Josh Allen.
Michael Mayer is NFL Draft’s Top-Rated Tight End Prospect
As Spectrum News reporter Jon Scott tweeted, Mayer met with Bills’ front office and scouts this week. The Notre Dame tight end said he believed it went well and praised the direction of the organization.
“The Bills are a great organization,” Mayer said, via SI.com’s Irish Breakdown. “They obviously have one of the best quarterbacks in the league right now with Josh Allen. Like I said before, it is about keep being myself, showing these coaches what kind of person I am and whether it fits their culture and their team. That is what I have been doing. I think it went very well.”
Mayer also had some praise for tight end Dawson Knox, saying he would love to line up on the opposite side of the line.
“I have watched him for sure, great player,” Mayer said. “He is a big red-zone threat. I think he is a great player and it would be cool to play with him. It would be cool to go against him as well.”
Knox made 48 receptions for 517 yards and six touchdowns last season, a drop from his breakout season in 2021. Some insiders have suggested the Bills could look for a second tight end, as they got little production outside of Knox over the last several seasons.
Bills May Not Land Top Tight End
The Bills may not get the chance to draft Mayer. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. rated him as the best available tight end, predicting that the Green Bay Packers would take him with the No. 15 overall pick.
Kiper noted that Mayer’s versatility is a huge plus, but noted that the Packers could pass him over if they choose to upgrade at offensive or defensive line.
“Mayer is an all-around tight end who had 180 catches for 2,099 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons for the Fighting Irish,” Kiper Jr. wrote. “He’s not afraid to block, but his value comes in stretching the seams and going up for and coming down with tough catches.”
But even if he does slide past the Packers, Mayer may still not fall all the way to the Bills at No. 27. Josh Edwards of CBS Sports predicted that the Notre Dame tight end would go to the Detroit Lions with the No. 18 overall pick.
The Bills could be willing to move up if they really want to land Mayer, as general manager Brandon Beane did last year in drafting cornerback Kaiir Elam. The Bills moved up from the No. 25 spot to No. 23, with Beane saying afterward that Elam was the last player left who the Bills had given a first-round rating. Cornerback was also an area of high need, as the Bills were without All-Pro Tre’Davious White while he was finishing rehab on a torn ACL.