After making two stops at SEC East rivals, former five-star prospect Cade Mays is off to the NFL. A longtime Tennessee commit, Mays ended up choosing Georgia over his hometown Volunteers, who were once again in the middle of another messy coaching change. Two years later, he transferred home, playing alongside of his little brother Cooper.
Mays played everywhere for Georgia, and did they same for Tennessee. He started at guard in 2020 before moving out to right tackle in 2021. This past season, he was a huge part of one of the top rushing attacks in the nation, helping to pave the way for the Volunteers to finish 11th in rushing offense in the FBS.
Bench: 21 reps of 225
What he brings to the NFL
Mays is an interesting evaluation because he’s a guy that hasn’t really settled into one role throughout his career. That can be a plus for versatility, but also leaves question-marks about where his long-term fit. The consensus seems to be that Mays will end up playing on the interior, perhaps even at center. Teams worked Mays at center during senior bowl practices back in February.
Another issue dragging Mays down is simply his ability to stay on the field. He missed multiple games in three of his four seasons, missing the final three games of his Tennessee career last fall. For a guy that is likely going to be battling to stick on a roster, availability will be a key for Mays going forward.
However, if you can put the pieces together and maybe give him some time and seasoning, Mays still has the ability to play at this level. He’s a powerful blocker with a mean streak to him — a guy that’s going to play through every whistle and get his money’s worth. The frame and the play strength are there, though he’s been knocked for his lack of agility and flexibility.
It’s likely that right tackle wasn’t his best fit at Tennessee, but given the options, it’s where he fit best in the starting five. With guard or center fitting him better from an athletic standpoint, Mays is a nice developmental pick sometime in the middle of day three.
NFL Draft Projection: Round 5/6