DE Boye Mafe, Minnesota
6’4” – 255 lbs.
Redshirted in 2017, then picked up twelve tackles the following year. Rotated in as a sophomore, going 14-3.5-3.0, then totaled 27-5.5-4.5 and two forced fumbles over six games as a junior, also kicking a field goal and a few extra points. Finished last year with a 34-10.0-7.0 line to conclude his collegiate career, typically rushing out of a two-point stance from the weak side.
Production escalated in each season. Really looks the part, with good height, length, and bulk for a pro edge defender. Solid motor. Overall lower-body strength is at least average, allowing him to anchor reasonably well when run at. Contact balance is pretty good. Offers impressive range in pursuit against the run, but plays with discipline on the backside. Heavy, active hands to shed. Has a pretty good first step to threaten the edge, and combines it with a swim move which looks like his go-to. Shows some ability to use feints to set up blockers. Slap move looks viable when rushing from a wide split. Closes fast and goes for the ball when he wins on the backside. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes. Also took some snaps in coverage, and looks pretty smooth turning and carrying running backs out of the backfield in coverage.
Really has only one full year of high-end production, and still rotated off the field often; used more as a designated pass-rusher on third downs. Didn’t have to take too many snaps with his hand in the dirt. Playing on the weak side, wasn’t asked to set the edge too much during the games reviewed. Doesn’t always look like he has a plan as a pass-rusher; a little too much wasted motion. Speed rush is a little bit upright and often needs to gather and redirect instead of bending a smooth arc. Can get put on skates at times when trying to turn the edge. Gets caught up in congestion too easily when working his inside moves. Gets a little bit over his toes when backpedaling into zone; looks a little bit awkward and mechanical.
Has the size teams look for in an edge rusher and plays with more speed and explosiveness than is common for a player as big as he is, but will need to improve his balance, bend, and flexibility to rush effectively at the pro level and isn’t as refined in the run game as some of the other edge prospects in the class. Nonetheless, tools should get him a look in the mid-rounds.