Sat, 08 May 2021

Falcons select OL Jalen Mayfield in third round of NFL Draft

Atlanta Falcons
02 May 2021, 18:57 GMT+10

The Atlanta Falcons selected Jalen Mayfield in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft Kelsey Conway

The Atlanta Falcons selected offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield with the No. 68 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Mayfield, 21, is known for his athleticism, quickness and toughness up front. He's viewed as a raw prospect with high potential to many because he only played 1,000 snaps at right tackle during his three seasons at Michigan. Mayfield suffered a high ankle sprain that cut his final season in Ann Arbor short. He appeared in 18 games with 15 starts.

One of the main qualities head coach Arthur Smith is looking for in his prospects is toughness and Mayfield is that. Mayfield is 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds.

Draft grade: B

"Mayfield battles hard and has positional flexibility. A tick clunky but locks out vs. bull rushes and initial burst is good. Smart pick for Falcons at this stage of Matt Ryan's career." - Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports

Expert analysis:

"Mayfield, a four-star prospect and top-100 national recruit out of Grand Rapids' Catholic Central High School, was the city's Defensive Player of the Year (31 tackles for loss, 17 sacks) as a senior and helped the squad win Michigan state titles in 2016 and 2017. His father, Brian, played left tackle at Ferris State, but Jalen accepted a scholarship offer from the Wolverines. He played in three games as a reserve left tackle in 2018, redshirting to retain a year of eligibility. Mayfield earned his way onto NFL scouts' radars with his play in 2019, when he was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection as a 13-game starter at right tackle for the Wolverines. He initially opted out of the 2020 season but decided to opt back in when the Big Ten announced it would have a fall football season instead of playing in the spring. He played well in two starts at right tackle before a high ankle sprain short-circuited his campaign. " Chad Reuter, NFL.com

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