In recent years, Miami has maintained its historic reputation in the NFL at the tight end position as David Njoku and Brevin Jordan are the lone ProCanes carrying the torch from Miami greats such as Jeremy Shockey, Bubba Franks, and recently retired Greg Olsen.
As the next wave hopes to continue the TEU trend, Will Mallory looks to be the next tight end in the NFL this week and continue the path for current promising Canes tight ends, Jaleel Skinner, Elijah Arroyo, and Riley Williams. As a former teammate of Jordan, Mallory and Brevin could be the foundation for the next wave of great Miami tight ends. And with the tight end lineage looking to continue on the current Canes’ roster Mallory and Jordan have an opportunity to launch the next circuit of players to the NFL to represent the one and only “TEU.”
Below is analysis of Mallory’s draft profile.
TE Will Mallory Draft Snapshot:
2023 NFL Draft Ranking* - 150th Overall, TE10 (ESPN Big Board)
Height: 6’4” (13th Percentile)
Weight: 239-pounds (32nd Percentile)
Hand: 9 3/8 inch (54th Percentile)
Arm: 32 1/4 inch (43rd Percentile)
Wing: 78 1/4 inch
2018: 10GP/1GS, 5 receptions, 37 yards, 1 TD, 1 drop
2019: 13GP/8GS, 16 receptions, 293 yards, 2 TDs, 6 drops
2020: 11GP/7GS, 22 receptions, 329 yards, 4 TDs, 2 drops
2021: 12GP/12GS, 30 receptions, 347 yards, 4 TDs, 4 drops
2022: 12GP/12GS, 43 receptions, 538 yards, 3 TDs, 2 drops (Second Team All-ACC; Led team in receiving; Team Captain)
CAREER: 115 receptions, 1,544 yards (13.4 yards/rec), 14 TDs, 15 drops
Fastest 40 Times (TEs):— PFF College (@PFF_College) March 5, 2023
Will Mallory, Miami: 4.54s
Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion: 4.55s
Sam LaPorta, Iowa: 4.59s pic.twitter.com/xWsg2iyO8S
Pro Football Focus (PFF) Grades
- Overall 2018 PFF Grade: 59.2
- Overall 2019 PFF Grade: 50.2
- Overall 2020 PFF Grade: 57.1
- Overall 2021 PFF Grade: 52.4
- Overall 2022 PFF Grade: 60.7 (78.0 receiving grade; 36.6 run block grade), 640 Snaps, 421 In-Line Snaps, 188 Slot Snaps
NFL Combine/Pro Day Results:
Vertical: 36’ 1/2”-inch (86th Percentile)
Bench Press: 20 reps (50th Percentile)
Broad Jump: 10’1” (82nd Percentile)
40-yard: 4.54 (92nd Percentile)
Shuttle: 4.40 (47th Percentile)
3-Cone: 7.18 (41st Percentile)
Football in the Mallory Family
Coming out of the Providence School in Jacksonville, Mallory always grew up around football.
In particular, Mallory’s family moved to Jacksonville in 2013 when his father, Mike, was hired as the Jaguars’ special teams coordinator. Mike played for another UM, Michigan Wolverines, where he was a star linebacker earning team MVP honors in 1984, as well as co-captain, All-Big Ten conference player, and was one of five finalists for the Dick Butkus Award awarded to the top linebacker in college football. Mike ended up going almost straight into football coaching, at the collegiate level from 1986-2007, until carving out a path in the NFL from 2008-present. Interestingly, Mike’s first stop from 2008-2012 was with the New Orleans Saints who had two renowned Miami tight ends during that timeframe, Jeremy Shockey and Jimmy Graham.
Just as Miami has a strong lineage of tight end talent, the Mallory family appears to have a direct correlation to NFL ties. And while his father didn’t play in the NFL, Will looks to do that.
● TE Spotlight ●— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) August 4, 2021
Will Mallory - Miami
• Mallory is one of the Top returning TEs in #CFB. In his career he's caught 43 passes for 659 yards 7 TDs averaging 15.3 yards per catch. This season with Brevin Jordan in the #NFL Mallory will be TE1 & have a big role. pic.twitter.com/I5guD5gu6U
Outside of his father, Will’s uncles on his dad’s side are also in coaching. Namely, Doug was an Atlanta Falcons coach until 2020 and a current defensive analyst with Michigan while Curt has been the head coach at Indiana State since 2017. The proverbial buck doesn’t stop there: Will’s grandfather on Mike’s side, Bill, was a long-time college football head coach with Miami (Ohio), Colorado, Northern Illinois, and Indiana.
As it relates to Will, he impressed an outside receiver at the high school level but dealt with some injuries his senior year. He shined on the football field but also in basketball and had elite metrics in track and field, which explain his high quality NFL Combine results.
Mallory was the number eight tight end in the 2018 class, which included Kyle Pitts and his teammate Brevin Jordan, both of whom ranked ahead of him. Mallory and Jordan made for a formidable duo at the U.
Mallory did not necessarily show up in the stat sheet on a weekly basis but he has been a steady presence as an in-line tight end for the Canes. In particular, Mallory didn’t have a 350-receiving yard or better season (< 30 yards/game) until his final year. In that final season, Mallory led the team in receiving yards (43 receptions for 538 yards) and was also a high energy leader in a struggling pass catching corps as he was named a team captain. The strong final season led to a second team All-ACC award and has put him on the map for the draft especially by getting a Senior Bowl invitation where he shined in practiecs and recorded the best PFF grade in the actual game (all nine 2022 Senior Bowl tight end participants were selected in the NFL Draft).
Mallory has an ideal frame for an in line tight end but also adds the athletic traits, at least on paper, necessary to thrive in the NFL as he recorded the best 40-yard dash among Combine tight ends, and also had an high tier broad jump. The metrics do not always translate to the field as he appears to operate slower, but he’s no slouch either - he finished number two all time in receiving yards for tight ends at #TEU, Miami.
Against zone coverage, Mallory is good at finding pockets at the second level but sometimes is slow in changing direction. That being said, he had a few big pickups by breaking the coverage vertically against the secondary (one in the embedded video against Pitt in 2021). While he has a good catch radius and easy frame to get the ball to, he prefers to get open on catches, and is less effective in contested catch situations. He improved on his drop rate throughout his career and only had two recorded drops in 2022 but had a pivotal focus drop against Michigan State that resulted in a 14-point turnaround.
As a blocker, Mallory is more of a mentality blocker than a naturally gifted one. In 2022, Mallory was graded one of the worst run blockers in college football as he recorded a 36.6 grade (compared to his 78.0 receiving grade). Due to his less effective lower base, Mallory sometimes is a holding penalty culprit and/or loses second-effort battles against naturally stronger EDGE/LB defenders.
There are two TE's in this draft in the top 10 in Receiving AND Pass blocking grade (PFF): Darnell Washington and Will Mallory. Mallory has blazing speed and can play inline, in the slot, and out wide. at 6'5 250 lbs he is a mismatch nightmare and a good complement to Kmet pic.twitter.com/2FmgEDkkE5— Chicago Football Connection (@CFCBears) January 13, 2023
- Natural Athleticism
- Ideal Frame for receiving TE
- Has Unmatched Speed relative to other Tight Ends (fastest 40-yard dash)
- Leader, voted team captain, and matches with high effort
- Football background in the Family
- Below Average on Contested Catches
- Leaves some to be desired in Block Game
- Change of Direction Speed appears slow on tape
Best NFL Fits: Bengals, Lions, Packers, Chargers, Dolphins
NFL Comparisons: Chigoziem Okonkwo, Blake Jarwin
The Tight End class is impressive this year so teams will have the option to get their style TE. Mallory may not be the type for some franchises as he lacks the prerequisite blocking capabilities for a tight end and there are certainly block-first tight ends available in this draft. However, a team looking for a catch-first who is a natural leader and hard worker is coming to the right place for Mallory. He has the athleticism to last in the NFL and should be able to carve out a quality role as an in line tight end.
Draft Night Projection: (4th to 6th Round)
5th Round to the Denver Broncos. The Broncos have loved tight ends recently as they’ve picked a tight end in five of the last six drafts - Jake Butt (2017), Troy Fumagalli (2018), Noah Fant (2019), Albert Okwuegbunam (2020), and Greg Dulcich (2022). Interestingly, all of these TEs are mostly catch first as well, so they certainly have a type, which is similar to Mallory. Even if they don’t need a TE this year, they could use lower leverage draft capital on Mallory. Oh, and someone who knows Will pretty well is a coach for Denver - his father, Mike.