Expectations are high for Las Vegas Raiders rookie tight end Michael Mayer whom the team selected in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Mayer was considered to be the best prospect in his position group and will get a chance to prove that he’s worth the hype as he is slated to begin the 2023 season as the Raiders’ starting tight end. Las Vegas needed to fill the void they left themselves when they traded Darren Waller to the New York Giants, and Mayer fit the bill as a versatile offensive player who could do just about anything on the field.
In college, the rookie was a reliable target in the passing game that also did well run blocking. Both are crucial to making it at the NFL level, and Mayer demonstrated he had the talent to succeed. However, he met his match in training camp against Maxx Crosby who reportedly got the best of him several times.
While it can be discouraging to lose reps, Mayer is taking the hard lessons from Crosby in stride via Vincent Bonsignore of Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“I hope there’s an appreciation on his end; there is on mine for sure,” Mayer said. “He’s making me better every single day I’m out there.”
Mayer was a solid blocker in college, but he’s quickly realized that his technique has to improve to keep up with the league’s best defenders:
“That’s probably the biggest thing I’ve noticed coming from college to the NFL now,” Mayer said. “The blocking technique you’ve got to have.”
Young tight ends normally take a couple of years to develop before they’re truly ready to contribute, so Mayer should be given some time to figure things out. Although he’s got an impressive frame and the skills to match, the learning curve in the NFL is a steep one.
Fortunately, Mayer will have plenty of opportunities to learn and grow with the Raiders as they seem intent on giving him snaps early on. His development will be something to monitor throughout the season, and hopefully, he will show flashes of the player he was at Notre Dame.
Davante Adams proud of Jimmy Garoppolo after Raiders debut
Mayer will be catching passes from Jimmy Garoppolo who recently made his Las Vegas debut in their preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams. Garoppolo only played one series but did complete all four of his passes for 39 yards.
It was a solid showing for Garoppolo who drew praise from Davante Adams. Adams was proud of Garoppolo and is looking forward to seeing him get back to form.