2023 Cowboys draft scouting report: UCLA guard Atonio Mafi
This gifted offensive lineman and draft prospect took an uncommon path to his present postion.
Cowboys draft prospects scouting reviews for the 2023 NFL Draft.
Title: Atonio Mafi
Weight: 339 kilos
Atonio Mafi is an attention-grabbing case examine. As a three-star prospect from California, Mafi opted to remain near dwelling and attend UCLA for soccer – as a defensive deal with. He performed immediately as a real freshman, although totally on particular groups. A 12 months later, Mafi noticed motion as a nostril deal with, and was really second amongst Bruins defensive tackles in run stops behind none aside from Osa Odighizuwa.
The following 12 months, although, he was moved to the offensive line. He noticed restricted motion at left guard that 12 months, and the following season had him as the highest backup at each guard spots, incomes him some stable taking part in time in each spots.
That led to Mafi assuming the beginning left guard spot this previous 12 months, the place he performed each snap. He had a really sturdy 12 months, incomes the third-best run blocking grade and fourth-highest general grade amongst all guards from Professional Soccer Focus. That stated, he’s solely been taking part in offensive line for 3 years, with only one full season of expertise, making his projection troublesome.
Anchor: Mafi is a big physique, and with that comes an important anchor. He doesn’t get bullied or pushed round, interval. There are loads of methods during which his tape is paying homage to Tyler Smith, and each have wonderful anchors.
Lateral Agility: For as many Tyler Smith comparisons as Mafi has earned, he’s not the identical kind of athlete. That exhibits up in his under common lateral agility. He’s not a swift mover and seems to be overly stiff in his legs, a typical problem with linemen that massive.
Level of Assault: Mafi performs like a freight practice on the level of assault, slamming into defenders with reckless abandon. He clearly loves trench life, and thrives on the bodily nature of the place.
Stability: He carries a low heart of gravity, thus offering him with nice stability as a mover. This goes hand in hand together with his anchor capacity, and actually highlights Mafi’s vibrant future as a guard.
Hand Approach: Mafi is severely underdeveloped together with his palms, however that’s to be anticipated from somebody who’s solely been taking part in offensive line for 3 years. He has nice energy in his palms, so when he does make contact with a defender you possibly can see the uncooked expertise there. However he misses all too usually, which was an particularly massive legal responsibility in move safety because it allowed defenders to extra simply sidestep him and check his subpar lateral agility.
Run Blocking: Mafi was an elite run blocker this previous 12 months, and with improved lateral agility he can attain that very same stage within the NFL. He’s large, highly effective, and has the tenacity that offensive line coaches love. Like Tyler Smith, Mafi will impose his will on defenders within the run recreation.
Move Blocking: Mafi has loads of room for enchancment right here, most of which is because of his lack of expertise on the place. He gave up the twelfth most pressures of Energy 5 guards on this draft class, which isn’t horrible but in addition not good. He ought to enhance by leaps and bounds in move safety as he turns into extra technically refined.
Processing: Mafi seems to have a stable grasp of the psychological a part of blocking, as he hardly ever obtained beat with stunts or twists or appeared confused as to what his task was. That’s encouraging to see from somebody so new to the place.
Intangibles: The final word query with Mafi is how far more he can develop. He’s nonetheless very uncooked, which isn’t a shock. That he was pretty much as good as he was this 12 months, his first season with important snaps on the offensive line, is promising. However his improvement is an enormous piece of his analysis on the subsequent stage, and his coachability will issue closely into that. The truth that Mafi was so keen and even keen to alter from protection to offense looks as if a constructive signal.