Jalen Mayfield should be one of two Michigan football stars to go in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Even after a down year for the program, the Michigan football team should be able to have two former Wolverines going in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. While defensive end Kwity Paye is a lock to go in day one, offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield should be coming off the board somewhere in the 20s to 30s.
Mayfield leaves Ann Arbor after his junior season. He was a former four-star recruit out of Grand Rapids in the 2018 class. At 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, Mayfield could play either tackle spot at the next level. However, he has been slipping recently on some draft boards. Though not a lock to go in the first round, if he does, he should be going to a playoff-caliber team in 2021.
Where will Jalen Mayfield fall in the 2021 NFL Draft?
NFC North (No. 20)
This is about the earliest he could be coming off the board this spring
Perhaps the earliest where Mayfield could be selected would be to the Chicago Bears picking at No. 20 overall. This is a team that leans heavily on defense and needs to establish an offensive identity fast in 2021. Otherwise, it could be the end of the line for head coach Matt Nagy. One of the best things the Bears can do this spring is to get better in the trenches through the draft.
Doing this will help bring along whoever is the team’s starting quarterback, whether that it Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Foles or somebody else entirely. Mayfield could potentially kick into guard as a rookie, or serve as a swing tackle in an effort to get some early playing time. Either way, there are plenty of offensive linemen who could come off the board around this time for Chicago to take.
For Mayfield to get to Chicago at No. 20, there would have to be a run of other offensive tackles ahead of him. While he is not a top-three offensive tackle prospect in this class, Mayfield’s talent and upside should have him going somewhere in the 20s and 30s. If the Bears were to take him at No. 20, it would not be seen as a reach, but rather a best-case scenario landing spot for him.