Michael Mayer confident his game will transcend his NFL Combine numbers

Perhaps the un-freakish numbers Michael Mayer put up Saturday at the NFL Combine make the ones he posted on the field during his three-year, record-setting career at Notre Dame all the more inspiring.

As far as putting them into context of how that’ll affect the former Irish All-America tight end’s future when the 2023 NFL Draft rolls around, April 27-29 in Kansas City, Mo.?

“It really was right in the realm of what I expected,” Pro Football Focus lead draft analyst Mike Renner offered. “But he definitely didn’t help himself.”

Maybe the consensus mock draft first-round pick won’t need any help.

“I’m not worried about that,” the 6-foot-4 1/2, 249-pound Mayer had said Friday about some teams’ concerns about how well he’d test before the fact. “These teams know how I play football. They know I can play football. I know I can play football.

“I know what I can do. These teams know what I can do. I’m not worried about what anybody’s saying on the outside at all.”

Mayer’s vertical leap (32.5 inches) and standing broad jump numbers (9-feet-10) were near the bottom for his position group. He skipped the agility/balance/quickness tests (three-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle) and will have a shot Sunday at the bench press if he so chooses to opt in.

Then there was the 40-yard dash. Though Mayer’s time of 4.7 seconds ranked ninth out of 13 in his position group on Saturday, it’s a comparable time for recent Notre Dame standout tight ends.

Tyler Eifert, a first-round draft choice a decade ago, ran a 4.68. Cole Kmet, a second-rounder three years ago, ran a 4.70. Kyle Rudolph, a second-rounder in 2011, ran a 4.78. Tommy Tremble, a third-round pick in 2021, has the best time by an Irish tight end since the 2010 draft cycle with a 4.59 clocking.

Mayer set virtually every single-game, single-season and career record imaginable at Notre Dame, with his career numbers 180 receptions, 2,099 yards and 18 TDs.

Offensive guard Jarrett Patterson will be the last of the four Notre Dame combine invitees to go through physical testing and position drills. All but the bench press (Monday) for him will take place Sunday.

Defensive end Isaiah Foskey has been the most impressive so far of the ND players, with safety Brandon Joseph fairly underwhelming. Irish players left off the invite list to the premier NFL Draft showcase will have a chance to audition in the same physical testing and drills at Notre Dame Pro Day on March 24.

Defensive tackle Jayson Ademilola, defensive end Justin Ademilola, cornerback TaRiq Bracy, kicker Blake Grupe and offensive guard Josh Lugg are among those expected to compete at that time.

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