There aren’t many prospects available in this year’s NFL Draft that can match Branden Mack’s frame. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound wideout from Temple has all the physical tools necessary to succeed in the NFL. All he needs now is an opportunity.
Mack finished his Temple career with 131 receptions for 1,819 yards and 15 touchdowns. His best season came in 2019, when he had 59 catches for 904 yards and seven scores.
Coming into the 2020 season, Mack had the most contested catches among all Group of Five wide receivers. That’s proof that he knows how to use his height to his advantage.
With the NFL Draft roughly a month away, Mack sat down with The Spun to discuss his Temple career, which wide receivers he studies on the film, and why he believes he’s one of the most underrated prospects in the country.
The Spun: This past season was tough due to COVID-19. How would you grade your final season with Temple?
Branden Mack: It wasn’t the best season due to COVID-19 and injuries. I lost my starting quarterback within like the first three games, and then pretty much the season went downhill from there. We also had a bunch of young guys who had to step up and make as many plays as they could.
The Spun: What’s your best attribute right now?
BM: Making contested catches. My willingness to go up and make a catch in traffic despite defenders all over me.
Temple's Branden Mack: Most contested catches among all Group of 5 WRs pic.twitter.com/WD8qaCyBoZ
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 27, 2020
The Spun: Over the years you’ve shown you can come down with contested passes. What’s your mindset when the ball is in the air?
BM: My mindset is that my job is to block on the perimeter and catch the ball. You’re going to get hit regardless if you catch it or you don’t, so I rather catch it while taking the hit.
The Spun: Is there a wide receiver who you try to model your game after?
BM: I like to watch a variety, but Mike Evans is toward the top for me. I believe we have a similar game. Mike might be faster than me, but we’re both really good with 50-50 balls and things like that.
The Spun: What’s an area of your game you really want to work on?
BM: Separation at the top of my routes. That’s what I’m working on the most leading up to the draft.
The Spun: You tweeted ‘Most underrated WR in the draft.’ Why do you feel that way?
BM: One is because of my size. Not a lot of receivers are able to go up and make a bunch of contested catches like me. I turn the 50-50 balls into 80-20 balls. I can also play on the outside or inside. I can play in the slot, or I’ll play on the outside and win my one-on-one balls. I feel like a lot of teams/scouts are sleeping on my capabilities.
⬅️ Most underrated WR in the draft 💯
— B-Mack (@MACK_IT_OUT) February 27, 2021
The Spun: Have you thought about any NFL quarterbacks you’d like to catch a pass from?
BM: Oh, all the time. I’d love to catch a pass from Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson or any of those great quarterbacks.
The Spun: Do you think the Group of Five is getting disrespected by the national media?
BM: Absolutely. There’s a lot of hype surrounding the Power Five schools, and rightfully so. But there are a lot of great programs in the Group of Five, such as my conference. My conference is very, very competitive. Even if we go against a Power Five school, if you see any losses, it’s never a blowout losses. And when we do beat them, people make it seem like a big surprise. At the end of the day, the biggest difference between Power Five and Group of Five is the talent for the offensive and defensive lines. Athletes are going to be athletes regardless.
The Spun: What do you want to show at your Pro Day?
BM: I’m going to show them that I’m not this slow guy they seem to think I am. Teams know I’m strong and physical. They also know that I can jump well. But I really want to show my ability to run routes.
🚨 Branden Mack has moved into 6th place on Temple's all-time career receptions list. pic.twitter.com/WH6P0n98xf
— Temple Football (@Temple_FB) November 21, 2020
The Spun: Do you have a favorite moment from your time at Temple?
BM: I have a couple. One was beating Cincinnati my redshirt sophomore year. They were undefeated walking into our home stadium and we beat them in overtime, and I caught the game-tying touchdown in that one.
The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Branden Mack?
BM: You’re getting a competitive, versatile dude who loves to be coached and loves the game of football. I love to compete at any level, offense, special teams, defense, whatever. You’re going to get 100 percent effort from me at all times.
— B-Mack (@MACK_IT_OUT) February 25, 2021
Mack is looking to make a statement at his pro day later this month. If all goes well, he could end up on several teams’ radars.
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