Todd McShay Loves Boye Mafe

Photo: Aaron Lavinsky - Star Tribune

Those of us who follow Minnesota Gophers football closely have known for awhile that Boye Mafe’s draft stock would rise quickly before April 2022. He’s a freak athlete who has NFL Combine MVP written all over his physical traits.

But we had no idea the — 6 ft 3.4 in, 255 lb — EDGE rusher would use his Senior Bowl appearance to move this quickly up draft boards. I mean, we haven’t even reached the combine yet and Todd McShay (ESPN) is already pushing him into the top tier of defensive ends and outside linebackers in a draft that he claims is the best in a decade at that position.

Todd McShay: Huge Boye Mafe Guy

“I think [Boye Mafe] is going to sky-rocket. I think he’s going to be one of the best EDGE rushers, in what is turning out to be one of the best EDGE rush classes we’ve had in a decade. With obviously Kayvon Thibodeaux, Aidan Hutchinson at the top, Travon Walker, Jermaine Johnson from Florida State. But Mafe just continues to show up. The Senior Bowl was an excellent exclamation point on a great week that he had in Mobile, AL.”

“I personally think he’s right on the fringe in terms of first round, when it comes to talent-wise. Maybe he’s not quite as polished as guys like Jermaine Johnson and certainly not Aiden Hutchinson. But I think he’s got just as much of an upside, in terms of what he can be as a pass rusher off the edge in the NFL.”

Todd McShay (ESPN)

What’s Next?

Don’t look for Boye Mafe’s draft board rise to slow down anytime soon. Not with the NFL Combine (March 1-7) and University of Minnesota Pro Day (March 16) still to come. Those were supposed to be the offseason events that opened scout eyes to what Mafe could one day become.

But Boye no longer needs to put himself on any proverbial map. He’s already on it and circled by many GM’s and scouts around the league. Now, he can use those March showcases to move himself ahead of other EDGE rushers who started this process leaps and bounds ahead of the Gophers’ golden child.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan