A Traverse City, Michigan native who played his college football at Michigan, Ryan Hayes projects to be a late-round pick in the NFL Draft. After not seeing any game action as a freshman in 2018, Hayes appeared in 12 games for Michigan in 2019, started two games in the truncated 2020 season, and started 14 games in his senior season in 2021, earning a second-team All-Big Ten selection. He followed that up with another second All-Big Ten selection last year as a graduate student.
He was a two-year starter at left tackle for a unit that won consecutive Joe Moore Awards, which is given to the best offensive line unit in college football.
Ryan Hayes: Scouting Report
While Hayes has some of the strongest fundamentals of anyone in the draft, there are questions about if he’ll be able to stick as a tackle in the NFL due to his length. NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein writes “he’s tall and plays with good technique and strong hands, but Hayes is missing functional length as a tackle. He tough at the point of attack and gets into space with athletic movements but he plays with a slightly elevated pad level that could slow a transition inside to guard. He’s solid in pass protection, but he plays with an average anchor and might not have the range to keep speed rushers from tormenting the pocket.”
NFL.com rated Hayes with a prospect rating of 71 and a rating of 5.90, projecting him to be an average backup or special-teamer.
Mock Draft landing spots
Hayes is expected to be taken in the later rounds of the draft. ESPN’s Matt Miller has him going in round six to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 206. Meanwhile, NFL.com’s Chad Reuter has him going in the seventh to the Dallas Cowboys at No. 244.