Cade Mays NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Carolina Panthers' IOLApril 30, 2022
HEIGHT: 6'4 3/4"
ARM: 34 1/8"
WINGSPAN: 6'10 1/4"
40-YARD DASH: 5.24
— Crafty hand fighter who does a nice job working his hands inside the frame of defenders to get them leaning, pinned and uprooted out of rushing lanes.
— Good lower-body strength and jolt in his hands to create knockback and movement on angle-drive blocks.
— Physical and nasty play demeanor with the strength to back it up and finish at a high level.
— Solid athletic ability on the move to line up targets at the second level on pulls and climbs.
— Uses strong hands to end the fight quickly when he can get latched on rushers using a jump set.
— Shows the patience, balance and independent hands to punch, redirect and stay in front of inside counters.
— Tends to dip his head into contact, leaving him susceptible to inaccurate fits and whiffs versus gap exchanges across his face.
— Needs to clean up his aiming points and body positioning on double-teams to stay square when feeding defensive tackles so he can better key, release and pick up fast-flowing linebackers scraping over the top.
— Can be late with his outside hand in pass protection, which creates a soft edge for quick, easy wins around the corner.
— Struggles to break contact or regain control against the long-arm, resulting in getting stacked and pressed off blocks if he doesn't initiate first contact.
- Started 10 games at right tackle.
- Second-team All-SEC selection.
— Originally committed and played at Georgia as a 5-star prospect and top recruit in the state of Tennessee before transferring in 2020 to Tennessee.
— 35 career starts with 19 at right guard, 12 at right tackle, two at left guard and two at left tackle.
Mays is a four-year starter and former top overall recruit in the state of Tennessee with 35 career starts across four positions on the offensive line. He started the last two seasons at Tennessee after transferring from Georgia, with the bulk of his starts coming at right tackle.
Mays has a thick, well-rounded build with good arm length and a rugged, physical playing style. He is a skilled hand fighter with the necessary blend of play strength and power to explode into contact with pop before gaining control of defenders, working them off-balance and using his big body to create creases and rushing lanes on angle-drive, down and double-team blocks.
Mays is an effective lead blocker in the screen game with the quickness to track smaller targets and work inside-out on them to create alleys on the move. He does need to refine his aiming points when banging down on double-teams to feed defensive tackles without turning his shoulders too far inside and sacrificing his release timing up to the second level. He also tends to get pressed off blocks too often due to being wide with his hands or high on contact.
Mays shows above-average snap timing and explosiveness out of his stance in protection to get on rushers quickly using his jump set, with the girth and grip strength to wall off, latch and end the fight quickly. Rushers with an effective long-arm technique can press him off and control him too easily due to his feet tending to die on contact. He also needs to shore up his timing with his outside hand to prevent soft corners that rushers can capture quickly.
Overall, Mays' size, play strength, power and demeanor are a better fit inside at guard, but he has enough athletic ability and size to play tackle in a pinch. He will need some refinement in his technique as a run-blocker to improve his pad level and hand placement, but he has the grip strength and torque to create movement with the quickness to execute zone concepts effectively.
Mays should be a high-level backup at multiple positions right away with the potential to earn a starting job in year one. He has the tools to stick long-term in a multiple-run scheme.
GRADE: 6.9 (Potential role player - 4th Round)
OVERALL RANK: 121
POSITION RANK: IOL15
PRO COMPARISON: Matt Slauson