Minnesota EDGE Boye Mafe Scouting Report

Boye Mafe Minnesota
Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn/University of Minnesota

Minnesota edge rusher Boye Mafe has generated a lot of buzz following a highly impressive week at the Reese’s Senior Bowl. A two-time “Feldman’s Freaks” honoree, Mafe has quickly transformed from athlete to football player and has vaulted himself into top-50 consideration. Let’s dive into the Boye Mafe scouting report.

Senior Bowl Measurables

Height: 6’3 ½ “

Weight: 255 pounds

Arm Length: 33 ⅜”

Hand Size: 9 ¾”

Wingspan: 81 ¼”

Background

Boye Mafe was born in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. His parents, Wale and Bola, are both native Nigerians who moved to the United States in the 1980s. Mafe returned to his Nigerian roots as an exchange student at a boarding school in the eighth grade before returning to the U.S. for high school.

A three-star recruit per 247sports, Mafe compiled 78 tackles, including four sacks and 10 tackles-for-loss as a senior at Hopkins High School en route to earning All-State Second Team honors. Mafe was also a standout in track and field and was a part of the state championship-winning basketball team. He decided to stay home and attend Minnesota, which was one of only four FBS schools to offer him.

Mafe arrived on campus at 225 pounds, forcing him to redshirt in 2017. He played in 23 of a possible 26 games from 2018-2019, totaling 26 tackles (four for loss) and 3.5 sacks. Mafe broke out in 2020, surpassing his career total in each category, as he posted 27 tackles (5.5 for loss) and 4.5 sacks. He was an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention and earned Academic All-Big Ten honors. 

Mafe, a team captain, entered 2021 with high expectations, and he didn’t disappoint, collecting 34 tackles and leading the team with 10 TFL’s and seven sacks while adding three QB hurries. Mafe once again earned Academic All-Conference honors and was voted Second Team All-Conference by the media (Third Team by the coaches).

Boye Mafe Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Dynamic athlete who has vertically jumped over 40 inches and run a sub-4.6 40-yard dash.
  • Showed improved lower-body fluidity and ankle flexion to bend in 2021; had a more diverse athletic palette rather than strictly linearly-explosive.
  • Excellent lateral quickness and change of direction to win with finesse as a pass rusher.
  • Possesses the burst to threaten offensive tackles outside and run the arc; consistently explosive both in two and three-point stances.
  • Made significant strides with his hands in 2021 in terms of expanding his arsenal and rushing with a plan; has the pop in his hands to displace blockers at the punch, and the quickness to successfully execute swipes, snatches, and several other moves, such as the long-arm and cross-chop.
  • Versatile piece who can do anything from rushing from 3-technique to covering TE’s downfield; Minnesota moved him around, and he succeeded everywhere.
  • Improved edge-setting and gap discipline versus the run.
  • High-motor player with tremendous grit in pursuit.
  • NFL frame with requisite length and thickness to survive.
  • Ascending football player whose character is praised by those around the program.

Weaknesses

  • Loses balance at the apex of the arc too often; would like to see him be a cleaner-jersey prospect.
  • Pad level can be hit or miss depending on the rep; he’s snatched too often, and lacks leverage at the punch at times
  • Inconsistent stack-and-shed against the run, and his overall ability to get off of blocks is a bit suspect.
  • Despite substantial improvements in pre-snap run/pass identification, he still has some misses and can take himself out of plays.

Summary

23-year-old Minnesota edge Boye Mafe is a highly athletic defender who has made outstanding strides in regards to his frame, arsenal, and power. Mafe’s 2020 film oozed with potential, but he left a lot to be desired. In 2021, he put it all together, consistently generating pressure off the edge with speed, power, and hand usage, and took a big step forward in defending the run. 

He’s successful working linearly, laterally, and in reverse, and has experience playing both up-and-down the line of scrimmage and in space. There is some scheme versatility with Mafe, but I think he’ll be at his best in a 3-4 scheme playing OLB. However, he can absolutely make a living as a 4-3 DE — so long as he continues improving against the run.

Ultimately, the scouting report shows Boye Mafe has instant-starter talent at the next level, with high-caliber pass-rushing ability matched with coverage versatility and the skill set to set the edge. His upside is high, and he’s already really, really good.

Grade: 83.9 (Second Round)

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