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Gophers' Boye Mafe watches NFL Draft stock climb

Mafe, a promising defensive end, spoke with Reggie Wilson about his rising stock and plans for the upcoming NFL Draft.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Boye Mafe is a homegrown talent, eager to hear his name called early in the upcoming NFL Draft.

The 6'4", 265 pound Gophers defensive end was a standout player at Hopkins High School and was selected to the 2016 All-Metro Team with 78 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and four sacks.

Mafe played 42 games for the Gophers. He finished his college career with 87 tackles (59 solo) and 15 sacks. His performance earned him a trip to the 2022 Senior Bowl, where he won team MVP with two sacks, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble. He then ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, opening the eyes of scouts who may not have known about him.  

The efforts have propelled Mafe up the draft rankings. He's now projected to go as early as the first round. If that happens, he would become the first Gopher defensive player drafted in the first round since corner Willie Middlebrooks in 2001.

Check out his one-on-one with KARE 11 Sports Director Reggie Wilson above.

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