The New York Jets enjoyed the unique benefit of coaching one-half of the Senior Bowl roster.
With exclusive access to the players on a near 24-7 basis throughout the college all-star event, the Jets gained valuable knowledge on how these players tick.
One player that caught their eye is rising up draft boards at an alarming rate and could end up in green and white.
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A Rising Star
Boye Mafe out of Minnesota was one of 11 defensive linemen on the National Team at this year’s Senior Bowl. Following a phenomenal week, he was listed among eight standouts by SNY that Gang Green could have an interest in.
Mafe spent four years with the Gophers and increased his statistical output every season. All in all, he finished with 15 sacks, 19.5 tackles for loss, and 87 total tackles.
Throughout the all-star event both at practice, during the game, and in the meeting rooms, Mafe wowed. The splash plays that were featured on the SportsCenter highlight reels from the Senior Bowl are littered throughout his college tape.
This is a player the Jets coaching staff got to work with every day at practice and got to challenge behind the scenes.
After the final whistle blew on the Super Bowl, the Jets released a trailer teasing things to come this offseason. One of the video trailers teased several members of the coaching staff and front office saying:
- “That’s exactly what we need”
- “I feel like I could sit here and watch him all day”
- “He looks legit”
Fans have started to speculate on social media which player they could be referencing? There is a strong belief that very well could’ve been Mafe with his jaw-dropping plays.
An Audible at the Line of Scrimmage
Heading into the Senior Bowl Mafe was widely considered a day two prospect that could be available in the second round.
Although after a star-studded week that could soon change.
There is now some serious buzz in the draft community that Mafe has launched himself firmly into the first-round conversation.
“The more I watch this guy, the more I love him. He isn’t polished, he has some work to do at the next level. I think this guy is going to skyrocket. I think he is going to be one of the best EDGE rushers in what is turning out to be one of the best EDGE draft classes we’ve had in a decade,” ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay on Mafe. “The Senior Bowl was an excellent exclamation point on a great week that he had. Mafe has an explosive first step, long 33″ arms, and he is 6-foot-4, 258 pounds. This guy is a dynamic playmaker. When he gets his hands worked out he is going to be a phenomenal player. I think he is right on the fringe of the first-round talent-wise. Mafe may not be as polished as some of the top pass rushers in this class, but he has just as much upside.”
Mafe still has numerous opportunities leading up to the 2022 NFL draft to keep that star rising. The NFL combine is coming up in the first week of March followed shortly thereafter by Minnesota’s Pro Day on March 16.
If his stock continues to rise up the draft boards, the Jets will have two options to strongly consider.
They could try and trade back from the No. 10 overall pick to the mid to late teens to acquire the dynamic pass rusher. The Jets would pick up future additional assets and still get the player they desire.
Or they could launch up from the top of day two, they hold the No. 35 and No. 38 overall picks in the second round, back into the backend of the first round.
No matter what way you slice it, one of the Jets’ favorite secrets of the Senior Bowl is now out, they love Mafe.
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