The Seattle Seahawks came away with a several promising rookies in the 2022 NFL Draft, and at least one was hoping that he’d land with the franchise while waiting to hear his name called.
After being taken in the second round with the 40th overall pick, Minnesota Gold Gophers edge rusher Boye Mafe spoke with local reports about his top-30 visit in Seattle. Not only did Mafe talk about how much he enjoyed his visit with the Seahawks, but he also revealed they were the team he was hoping would give him the call to play in the NFL.
“I had a great visit when I was out there in Seattle and talking to the coaches, it was great,” Mafe told reports according to SI.com’s Corbin K. Smith. “We talked about ball a lot, they taught me a couple of things, and the culture that they are trying to instill there, I can understand it and I can buy into that. It was very great for me to be able to meet them and then when that call happened, that second conversation made it all become real. Honestly, the one I wanted, I’m glad I got that call from Seattle. I’m excited to get out there.”
Boye Mafe is a Promising Pass Rusher
Mafe wasn’t the first edge rusher taken in this year’s draft class, but his draft stock steadily climbed throughout the pre-draft process after a relatively quiet final college season in Minnesota.
The Golden Gophers star graduated as a redshirt senior with 15 career sacks, including a career-high seven sacks and ten tackles for loss. At 6’4″ and 261 pounds, Mafe shined at the NFL Scouting Combine, running the 40-yard dash in just 4.53 seconds to go along with an impressive 38-inch vertical jump.
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The biggest knock on Mafe heading into the draft was his age. The Seahawks rookie will turn 24 years old in November, and that’s likely a big reason that Mafe fell out of the first round and was available with the 40th overall pick.
Pete Carroll Loved the Draft Pick
Not long after the Seahawks drafted Mafe, head coach Pete Carroll spoke to the press to talk about how excited he was about the team’s new pass rusher.
“He’s a very versatile football player,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of Mafe according to Gregg Bell from The News Tribune. “He’s a fantastic athlete with the speed and size that he brings. He can he can work on the edge as a pass rusher is the first thing we’d like to see him excel at. He’s been a guy that’s been in coverage and dropped too, he’s got versatility in that regard. I like him particularly coming forward and getting after the quarterback, which we’d like to emphasize that as we get started, but he’ll be an outside backer in the system and outside rusher in the in the 4-3 stuff so he’ll get a really good chance to see where he fits in with that.”
The Seahawks may not have drafted a quarterback like some fans might have wanted, but the additions to the offensive line in Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas along with the defensive picks of Coby Bryant and Mafe should give Seattle plenty of solid contributors in 2022 and beyond.