One of the top tight ends of the 2023 draft class is headed to Las Vegas.
The Raiders selected Michael Mayer with the No. 35 overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft after completing a trade with Indianapolis Colts on Friday night.
Las Vegas sent Indianapolis the No. 38 overall pick and a 2023 fifth-round pick (No. 141) in exchange for the 35th overall selection.
Mayer's journey to the NFL has been closely watched by most everyone since he led the Irish in receptions in 2020. Mayer was only getting started; he went on to set the Notre Dame record for receiving yards gained in a season by a tight end (840) in 2021, placing himself firmly on every draft prognosticator's watch list entering the 2022 season.
He lived up to the expectations in his final campaign with the Irish, recording 67 receptions for 809 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns in 2022, breaking his own single-season school record for receiving TDs by a tight end and earning him first-team All-American honors.
When reviewing his game film, it's not difficult to see a resemblance between Mayer and longtime NFL tight end Jason Witten. The Notre Dame standout exhibits many of the same traits -- strong hands, quality size, above-average blocking technique and adequate athleticism -- that made Witten an 11-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro in his 17-year career.
Although he'd been seen as a probable first-round choice since the start of his final campaign at Notre Dame, Mayer's fall to Day 2 brings ample opportunity for him to make an impact as a rookie.