The Atlanta Falcons didn’t have a starting left guard on the roster, and might have just drafted their starter with Jalen Mayfield, a good all-around NFL prospect with long-term potential.
Mayfield played left tackle for the Michigan Wolverines as a freshman, and right tackle the next two seasons. He should continue the pipeline of talented offensive tackles that will likely play guard. A good zone blocker, Mayfield and can bring some power and size that is missing up front in Atlanta.
He may have been a bit over-drafted according to some big boards, but for the Falcons, he fits what they want to do up front. He should instantly compete for the starting job at left guard with Matt Gono, and could win it. Atlanta didn’t sign any true starter for left guard this offseason, so it will be on Mayfield for the improvement of the line up front.
The skills he learned at tackle could translate well as a zone guard, and when someone isn’t a great athlete but does everything else well, the switch makes sense. Atlanta got a very good prospect at a position of major need. Mayfield’s issues versus speed are in question, but the move to guard will help him out a lot.