Falcons third-round pick Jalen Mayfield set to compete for starting role

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The Falcons selected Jalen Mayfield out of Michigan, where he played right tackle, with their third-round pick. Coming out of college, Mayfield was highly regarded but fell due to inexperience. It certainly was not because of his versatility, “I’m able to play center, guard, tackle. I’m pretty comfortable on the left (side),” Mayfield told reporters in March. “My freshman year, I played left tackle. And then the last two years, I played right tackle. So I’m really comfortable with both sides.”

Last night in his post-draft presser, Mayfield reiterated his willingness and ability to kick inside to guard on whatever side he’s needed — Atlanta has an open competition at left guard.

Mayfield is a good athlete for his size, possessing great agility that allows him to move in space very easily. His lateral movement is apparent and is certainly something Arthur Smith and Dwayne Ledford value in this zone-scheme offense. The former Wolverine is quick off the ball but brings power in the run game, finishing with a nasty attitude. Smith said that the Falcons are confident in the development plan they have for Mayfield, which points to having him compete for the starting left guard spot.

Though he tested poorly as a tackle, his RAS as a guard is much more palatable, which is where he projects to play in Atlanta.


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