The Seahawks used the first of their two second-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft to upgrade their pass rush, selecting Minnesota linebacker Boye Mafe with the 40th overall pick.
Mafe, who is 6-foot-4, 261 pounds and ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, gives the Seahawks another explosive edge player to join a group that also includes the likes of Darrell Taylor and Uchenna Nwosu.
"It's euphoric," Mafe said of hearing his name called. "All of the hard work, all of the time putting in the extra work, working out by yourself, watching extra film, and seeing that actually come to fruition, now it's time for me to put some more work in, go make it at another level, compete and get ready to be hungry."
Mafe recorded a team-high 7.0 sacks and 10 tackles for loss in 12 games last season, earning third-team All-Big Ten honors. In a COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, Mafe recorded 4.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss in six games. In addition to a strong college career and an impressive performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, Mafe also helped his draft stock with his play during the Senior Bowl week, which included showing he can rush from a three-point stance.
"The biggest thing about the Senior Bowl was that I just got more comfortable with the coaches," he said. "I just took everything that they were teaching me at the Senior Bowl and was running with it, especially not being used to playing in a three-point stance. Going into that, it was my first time ever doing that and I was just running with it, honestly."
A fan of the outdoors and a self-described foodie, Mafe should fit in well in Seattle.
"I like to be outside," he said. "I'm a big outdoorsy and I am a big foodie, so I can't wait to get to Seattle and try new restaurants. I heard about the food scene there and that's probably one thing that I am really excited to come up there and create a new list of restaurants to try."
Take a look at linebacker Boye Mafe during his time at the University of Minnesota. Mafe was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2nd round, No. 40 overall, in the 2022 NFL Draft.