The Seattle Seahawks could be looking at their next playmaker for Geno Smith.
According to Josh Edwards of CBS Sports, the Seahawks are slotted to select Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer with the 16th overall selection in the first round. Edwards pegs Seattle as selecting Clemson defensive lineman Myles Murphy with the 10th overall pick — the pick acquired in the trade for Russell Wilson with the Denver Broncos — while addressing the tight end position with their second pick.
Edwards argues that Mayer could serve as a “reliable option” for Smith.
“With the first of two picks, Seattle added Clemson pass rusher Myles Murphy. Mayer is the team’s next selection,” says Edwards. “The Seahawks are sitting on one of the best 2022 draft classes and are hoping their stroke of luck continues. Mayer is a big, strong outlet who is not going to test off the charts but will serve as a reliable option for the suddenly revived Geno Smith.”
Mayer Nicknamed ‘Baby Gronk’ Due to Similarities
Mayer is in the midst of his junior campaign at Notre Dame. The 21-year-old posted a Third-Team All-American selection with the Fighting Irish last season while producing 71 receptions for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. Through eight games this season, he’s having an even better campaign, putting up 47 receptions for 580 yards and six touchdowns.
The 6-foot-4, 265-pound tight end is a massive target. Mayer has garnered the nickname “Baby Gronk” due to his big frame and receiving skills, in reference to former New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski. Sky Sports analyst Cameron Hogwood even goes so far as to compare the “Notre Dame Polar Bear” to Travis Kelce and George Kittle.
“Shape-shifting tight ends that can morph between oversized bully pass-catcher and power run plough remain in trend, the Travis Kelces and George Kittles of the league transforming the financial appreciation of said value while Kyle Pitts and his unicorn horn stand to be the latest model of sought-after behemoths capable of dancing between X, Y and Z roles. Mayer’s application checks out,” says Hogwood.
Seahawks Lacking Dominant Tight End
The Seahawks’ offense — led by Smith — has been the main reason for their surprising 5-3 start to the season. However, Seattle is lacking a dominant tight end.
The Seahawks heavily rely on 12 personnel, which features two tight ends. Both Will Dissly and Noah Fant have started all eight games this season, with the former producing 21 receptions for 206 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Fant — who was acquired in the Wilson trade — has posted 22 receptions for 176 yards and one touchdown. Dissly ranks 18th in receptions and receiving yards while Fant ranks 16th in receptions and 24th in receiving yards among all tight ends.
If Seattle is able to add a potent tight end to the mix — they have DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett under contract through the 2025 season — the Seahawks’ offense could realistically emerge as the most dominant unit in football.
Considering the Seahawks have two first-round draft picks next year, they should draft Mayer if he’s on the board.