4 tight end draft prospects the Carolina Panthers should monitor in 2022

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Jaheim Bell
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Jaheim Bell /
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Carolina Panthers
(Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) Michael Mayer /

Carolina Panthers should monitor Michael Mayer

If you’re a college football or NFL Draft fan, you’ve probably noticed the bevy of talent at the tight end position.  One of the top prospects in the country resides in South Bend, Indiana by the name of Michael Mayer.

Entering his junior season, Mayer has made a high-level impact for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish since he arrived during the COVID-shortened 2020 season. As a true freshman, he was named All-ACC third team and secured a The Athletic’s Freshman All-America first-team honor.

The following year, Mayer was named Associated Press All-American third-team and was a finalist for the John Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end.

Mayer offers the prototypical size for a tight end with a rocked-up frame at 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds. While he isn’t an elite athlete, he’s good enough to create yards after the catch with quick feet and a nasty stiff arm to get by defenders in space.

One of Mayer’s most prominent traits to stand out is his ball skills. In the four games I watched of him, I don’t recall seeing a single drop or bobble of the ball when securing the pass.

Mayer offers strong hands, a terrific catch radius, and wonderful ball-tracking skills. In the NFL today, there is a need for tight ends with both high-level receiving and blocking skills. While the prospect isn’t an elite receiver, he will be good enough for any tight end-needy team such as the Carolina Panthers.

The player’s blocking skills on both running plays and passing downs are very sufficient. He offers good play strength at the point of attack, a consistent base, and adequate hand placement. Mayer has shown to be very reliable in the run game and can create lanes for running backs.

In terms of his play style, Mayer is similar to Greg Olsen. Panthers fans would be very excited to potentially have an “Olsen 2.0” on the roster this time next year.

Could that be Tommy Tremble? Possibly.

Even so, Mayer should be one of the top tight ends to monitor this upcoming season.