49ers NFL Draft: 5 prospects who’ll go bust if Niners take them in 2022

Chris Olave #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Chris Olave #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Boye Mafe, Bo Nix, Auburn Tigers, Minnesota Golden Gophers
Auburn Tigers quarterback Bo Nix (10) sacked by Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive lineman Boye Mafe (34) Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers bust risk No. 1: EDGE Boye Mafe, Minnesota

EDGE. 1. player. 852. Scouting Report. Minnesota. Boye Mafe. Pick Analysis

If Minnesota EDGE Boye Mafe puts it all together, watch out. He could easily be one of the best pass-rushing prospects to come out of the 2022 NFL Draft.

That might be a tall task for the 6-foot-4, 261-pound edge rusher, though, even if he finished his collegiate career with seven sacks and 10 tackles for a loss, suggesting an upwards trajectory.

Boye Mafe Defense & Fumbles Table
Tackles Def Int Fumbles
Year School Conf Class Pos G Solo Ast Tot Loss Sk Int Yds Avg TD PD FR Yds TD FF
*2018 Minnesota Big Ten FR DL 6 7 5 12 0.5 0.5 0 0 0 1 0 0
*2019 Minnesota Big Ten SO DL 7 8 6 14 3.5 3.0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020 Minnesota Big Ten JR DL 6 18 9 27 5.5 4.5 0 0 0 2 0 2
*2021 Minnesota Big Ten SR DL 12 26 8 34 10.0 7.0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Career Minnesota 59 28 87 19.5 15.0 0 0 0 3 0 3

Provided by CFB at Sports Reference
Generated 3/28/2022.

Likely a day-two pick, Mafe nevertheless has a lot of work to do before becoming even a quality situational pass-rusher. For starters, his lack of moves as a pass-rusher could be notably concerning, and he tends to rely solely on speed around the edge instead of an array of moves or with technique.

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In some regards, he could be like former Niners pass-rusher Corey Lemonier, who had many of the same traits in college but found himself regularly worked behind the pocket at the NFL level by bigger, stronger and more adept tackles.

Diversifying his pass-rush arsenal would go a long way towards rounding out Mafe’s potential, but that’s obviously easier said than done.

If San Francisco is able to grab him late on day two, or potentially even early on day three (not likely), it wouldn’t be so bad.

But there’d be a lot of risk in Round 2.

More. 49ers' 10 worst draft picks under John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan. light