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Seattle Seahawks select Boye Mafe in the second round of NFL Draft

Mafe led the Gophers in tackles for loss (10) and sacks (7) in 2021.
Image by Ethan Fine
Hands up, defensive lineman Boye Mafe attempts to block Bowling Green quarterback Matt McDonald’s pass during the Gophers football game against Bowling Green at Huntington Bank Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021.

Minnesota Gophers edge rusher Boye Mafe has been selected 40th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He was accompanied by his family in his hometown of Hopkins, Minn. when he received the call from Seattle’s front office.

“It was euphoric,” said Mafe. “You know, my phone was kinda sitting on the table. And then all of a sudden, I got a call, and then it was a missed call, and then it called again, and then I picked it up and it was crazy. My heart jumped, I’m still on cloud nine. I’m still just to sitting taking it all in.”

Mafe massively improved his draft stock after the conclusion of the 2021 college football season. An incredible Senior Bowl performance, where he won MVP with two sacks, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble, skyrocketed Mafe up draft boards. He continued to rise in draft projections as he impressed NFL scouts at the combine with his athleticism. He ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at the combine while completing a 38-inch vertical jump and 125-inch broad jump.

“I can’t wait to just get in there and learn honestly,” said Mafe about joining the Seahawks. “They told me I’d play outside linebacker…the first thing I noticed when I walked in the room, Pete Carroll knew exactly who I was…it kinda got surreal for me.”

Mafe has played football for the Gophers program since signing as a 3-star recruit in 2017. He redshirted his freshman year, totaling 87 tackles, 59 solo tackles and 15 sacks. Mafe is also very studious, he’s been selected on the Academic All-Big Ten team the last two seasons.

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