Check for Mayle on Sundays


WSU redshirt senior wide receiver Vince Mayle shakes off defenders against Oregon in Martin Stadium, Sept. 20, 2014.

The old adage to not judge a book by its cover isn’t heeded by the NFL. Its draft makes key decisions about choosing players by doing just that.

When draft day arrives in late April and NFL coaches and general managers are sitting in their war rooms deciding on their future, there’s one player they must not overlook: Washington State University senior wide receiver Vince Mayle.

The stat sheet will show that Mayle played only two seasons of division-one football and for a program that went 9-16 during his time on the Palouse, but Mayle has the tools to be an elite receiver in NFL.

Currently he’s rated as the 24th-best wide receiver in the 2015 NFL Draft class and projected to be taken between the fourth and sixth round, according to However, that stock could change if he performs well at the NFL Combine, which will take place Feb. 17-23.

A year ago, Mayle’s former teammate Deone Bucannon was invited to NFL Combine. Before the combine Bucannon was projected to be taken between the third and fifth round of the NFL Combine, according to After a strong outing at the Combine, Buccannon’s draft stock soared and he was eventually taken in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.

Mayle has the same opportunity to prove to NFL teams he’s the best receiver in the 2015 class.

What makes Mayle an intriguing prospect is his body structure. Standing at 6-3, 219 pounds, Mayle is built to play receiver. He’ll have the height advantage most of the time when he faces NFL defensive backs, which will allow for him to get an opportunity to catch the ball. Once Mayle catches the ball, it’ll be hard to take him down due to his weight.

Mayle also has experience when it comes to playing the wide receiver position since he’s played in Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense, which is built for a receiver. The Air Raid offense demands a lot from a receiver due to the amount of routes and formations it entails.

You can say Mayle was still learning the Air Raid offense during his first year at WSU in 2013 when he caught 42 balls for 539 yards and seven touchdowns. Those numbers increased dramatically a year later in 2014 when Mayle caught 106 passes for 1483 yards and nine touchdowns. Since he’s played in the Pac-12 Conference, he’s had the opportunity to matchup against secondaries that feature NFL talent. He caught seven balls for 75 yards against an Oregon Ducks team that made the National Championship in 2015.

Mayle’s been coached up by Mike Leach and WSU outside wide receivers coach Dennis Simmons as well. During their days at Texas Tech, Leach and Simmons had the opportunity to work with and develop Michael Crabtree who eventually became an All-American receiver and top-10 NFL Draft pick.

Despite only grabbing a pair catches for 33 yards in the 2015 Senior Bowl, Mayle still had an impressive week of practice leading up to the game that caught the attention of NFL Network scouts Daniel Jeremiah and Mike Mayock.

“I think Mayle’s had a nice week out of Washington State – I know Mike liked him on tape as well,” Jeremiah said on the broadcast during the 2015 Senior Bowl. “He only lined up on one side of the field (at WSU), so this is all new for him this week (at the Senior Bowl). He’s done a nice job.”

Jeremiah also added that it’s the Mike Leach system where he believes in repetition. Meaning the receiver always lines up on only one side of the field for the entire game which can lead to better results.

There’s still development for Mayle in terms of playing on both sides of the field, but he has the work ethic and drive to master that part of the game. Once Mayle adds that part to his game, he’ll be even more dangerous to contain.

When it’s time for the NFL teams brainstorm for their future in terms of drafting, they must remember to not overlook that wide receiver from Washington State University. The teams that decide to pass on him will regret it.