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NFL Draft Profile: Michael Maietti

The Rutgers transfer came to Missouri and the SEC to play against the best of the best. He certainly proved his worth in the SEC but will that translate to the NFL?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 02 Tennessee at Missouri Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 09 North Texas at Missouri Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Profile:

Name: Michael Maietti

Position: Center

Age: 24 (08/26/1997)

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 290 lbs.

Arm Length: 31 3/4”

Hand Length: 9 5/8”

Draft Projection: 7th Round


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 Central Michigan at Missouri Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pro Day Measurables:

40-Yard Dash: 5.34

Vertical Jump: 30”

Broad Jump: 104”

Player Comparison: Jason Kelce (PHI)


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 30 Rutgers at Penn State Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

College Statistics:

Games Played: 59 (23 at Mizzou, 36 at Rutgers)

Total Starts: 56 (23 at Mizzou, 33 at Rutgers)

Total Snaps: 3,980 (1,592 at Mizzou, 2,388 at Rutgers)

Pass Blocking Rating: 85%

Run Blocking Rating: 93%


College Accolades:

  • 2021 2nd-Team All-SEC
  • 2021 3rd-Team All-American
  • 2020 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll

Overview

Strengths: Quick-footed with smooth movement skills to cover a large area. Rangy with above average lateral ability. Bursts off the snap and sets up quickly with little wasted motion. Dips shoulder and moves his feet to get outside leverage when needed. Strong and low coming out of his stance, effective in short-yardage situations. Quick setting up after the snap and slides well to the outside, staying patient and balanced off the snap. Has good footwork and technique. Balanced and agile pass protection set with excellent hand placement. Finds defenders with his hands immediately and gets feet moving to engage and sustain.

Weaknesses: Will punch at smaller defenders instead of latching on and is more of a mauler than mover in the running game. Can improve maintaining outside leverage when doubling the nose. Ducks his head and gets too upright, causing him to fall off second-level blocks. Not physically imposing and has average overall strength. Upper body gets over his feet too often and he easily loses his balance. Good upper-body strength but must improve his core strength. Better suited to a zone-blocking system because of his athleticism. Finesse blocker with average arm length who doesn’t use his hands well to win at the point of attack. Stronger pass rushers can get under his pads and steer him aside.

Outlook: An undersized, 2-star recruit out of New Jersey high school football powerhouse Don Bosco Prep, “Jersey” Mike Maietti signed with the home-state school of Rutgers once he graduated from high school. After a redshirt season, Maietti became the starting center for the Scarlet Knights and never relinquished the role, starting 33 straight games over three years...and winning 7 total games in that same span under Chris Ash’s doomed career in Piscataway.

Regardless of team performance, Maietti consistently ranked high in both run blocking and pass blocking, both at a conference and national level. Knowing that he had the talent to play the best - but not having the talent around him to support his career - Maietti entered the transfer portal on January 24th, 2020.

At that time, Missouri was going through some transition, as well. Barry Odom had been fired in November of 2019 and Eli Drinkwitz was hired in December and piecing together a staff and managing the roster. Despite not having a guaranteed draftable position, multi-year starting center Trystan Colon-Castillo decided not to be the face of a Drinkwitz-lead rebuild and entered his name into the NFL Draft, eventually signing as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens. With the Tigers in desperate need of an experienced piece at the center position, and Maietti in desperate need of a competent coaching staff, the two found each other in the portal and Jersey Mike moved to the Midwest on April 17th.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns cancelling spring practice and making in-person practicing/training nearly impossible, Maietti immediately became the Tigers best option at center and started every game of his career in Columbia. 23 games, 23 starts, and 1,592 snaps proved that he could hang with the best of the best in the SEC and he matched his Rutgers 3-year win total halfway through his second season with Missouri.

At 6’1” and 290 pounds, Maietti would easily be one of the smallest offensive linemen in the NFL. However, what he lacks in size and strength he makes up for in technique. Pull up any running play the Tigers executed over the past two years and you’ll see Maietti hook under a lineman, flip his hips, and beat more talented players to the point that he wants to hit. In pass protection Maietti only gave up one sack as a Tiger, consistently picking up pass rushers and diverting them just enough to let ball leave the quarterback’s hand. His experience going against SEC linemen - especially holding his own against Georgia’s Jordan Davis - is a good enough resume for teams to at least take a flyer on the young man. While projected in the 7th round is far from a guarantee that he’ll play in the league, he has shown enough intriguing play that some team could add him a tryout piece and - given Maietti’s ability to overcome lowered professional expectations - could absolutely impress enough to earn a spot.

Best of luck to Michael Maietti as he begins his NFL journey. #MizzouMade