40 yard dash: 4.55 (projected)
NFL Comparison: Alshon Jeffery
Mayle (pronounced MAY-lee) was a player who Washington State went to early and often, game after game in 2014. He was clearly a tone-setting player, integral to Mike Leach’s offensive game plan. Mayle being established as a presence and an offensive threat on the perimeter to start things out was a common occurrence when watching back the film.
Mayle was a quick study in football, playing for basically only three years, two of them coming at Washington State where he was a basketball-playing JUCO transfer on arrival. Mayle has natural ball-tracking abilities and a knack for creating separation in small-areas. He can get free off the press at the line of scrimmage with good feet and has just little bit of “slippery” to him in dodging and weaving versus would-be jams from cornerbacks. Mayle doesn’t have elite top-end speed, but he has good top-end speed and is a constant threat to get by secondaries for a big play.
Mayle is a long, graceful runner with a silky moves and soft hands. His basketball background has helped his development in many of the same ways it benefitted 2014 WR prospect Mike Evans. Namely, in the ability to track and catch a ball with his hands and in the ability to “box defenders out” when settling into a soft spot in the zone and creating separation with length and physicality to make plays on contested balls.
While he’s big and physical in certain ways described, he’s more of a finesse player than a bruiser. Mayle doesn’t bring much in the run-blocking aspect of his game. However, he’s shown over and over again on tape that he’s tough enough mentally to run good routes over the middle without anticipating/fearing taking big shots from the defense. He runs better routes than many would think still being so new to the game of football, and has shown nothing to suggest the improvement won’t continue at a rapid pace.
Mayle is a redshirt sernior, so he is already 23 years old. This, coupled with the fact that he’s a little behind the development curve as a late-bloomer add up to many dynasty owners taking a “wait and see” approach to how Mayle holds up through the draft season’s rigors, and more importantly, what situation he ends up in. The Senior Bowl will tell us quite a bit, but for super-early 2015 dynasty drafts (where Mayle is going toward the end of rookie four-rounders or undrafted) we believe, at this early juncture, he could be a steal that ends up by May and June being taken as early as late-Round 1 in PPR formats if his team fit is good enough.