Michael Mayer already has not one, but two touchdowns in Allegiant Stadium.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish hosted BYU for their annual "Shamrock Series" last October, which was hosted in Allegiant Stadium. The 28-20 victory over the Cougars gave a few Las Vegas residents a first-hand glimpse of how legit Mayer could be in the league. The All-American tight end finished the day with a game-high in receptions (11) and receiving yards (118) to go along with his two touchdowns.
"The first thing I kind of realized is how immaculate that stadium is," Mayer said, recalling his initial experience in the Raiders home stadium. "To be able to play home games there is going to be a really fun thing to do. The city, the fans, the vibes around the city – it was fantastic.
"I'm happy to make it my new home, that's for sure."
A few Raiders scouts were in attendance at the showcase, and the team's brass met with him multiple times throughout the draft process. Having the 38th pick, the Silver and Black didn't want to wait to take Mayer.
They traded that pick and a fifth-round selection (No. 141) to the Indianapolis Colts to move up to No. 35 and get their guy.
"They were very good meetings. I was really glad, I actually met some coaches [like] their tight ends coach and it was good," Mayer said of his pre-draft encounters with the Raiders. "It went very well and I wasn't surprised at all. I'm really glad they got me and I'm excited to be a Raider."
Mayer might've had the most productive college career of anyone at his position in this draft class. In three seasons, he caught 180 passes for 2,099 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. He holds several tight end school records, including breaking Notre Dame's career tight end receptions record in his dominant Allegiant Stadium performance.
It's also worth noting the Raiders' profound history with Notre Dame pass catchers, including Hall of Famer Dave Casper.
"They've had so many good tight ends, there's no doubt about that," Mayer on the rich tradition of Silver and Black tight ends. "They know how to use tight ends and Coach McDaniels knows how to use tight ends and he loves tight ends. I think I'm going to fit very well within the offense. ... It's coming in, it's doing what they're asking me to do because it's about winning football games and that's what they drafted me to do.
"I just told my family a second ago, I said, 'It's time to get to work now.' It's been a long wait, it's time to get to work. It's time to start playing some ball. Meeting my teammates, start making friendships, making those relationships and focus on the goal."
With the 35th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Las Vegas Raiders selected tight end Michael Mayer.