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Scout’s Eye: Cal C Michael Saffell

Saffell is starting to have his name tossed around the NFL draft circles — for good reason

California v Colorado Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

California Golden Bears center Michael Saffell has already made a name for himself in the Cal circles. And now, he’s starting to catch the eye of several public draft pundits across the country.

One of the potential big areas of concern with Saffell heading into the 2020 season was the shift under Bill Musgraves’ new offensive system. Remember, I wrote this earlier this year:

Saffell is every bit of another All-Conference player at his position but expectations need to be tempered a bit as the team adjusts to life more under center in offensive coordinator Bill Musgraves’ new system. As athletic as he is, Saffell will have to adjust his range of movement and speed off the snap with the quarterback under him but if his proven track record is any indication, he’ll adjust nicely and be a solid centerpiece to the Golden Bears’ offensive line in 2020.

Well, that looked to be something he thought of too, and he’s now taken to working with former NFL All-Pro center Jesse Sapolu. He also spent time at the OL Masterminds clinic this year as well.

Sapolu, now with the San Francisco 49ers, was featured by Duke Manyweather, giving us a brief insight into his genius football mind.

Saffell was also out improving strength, hand placement and core balance as well, working with 5AS1 OL Training.

Those brief, but telling, movement videos this offseason showcase that he is indeed working towards adjusting to his life with Chase Garbers more under center this year. We know how fast he is and we know how quickly he can get off, these movement drills will only help him translate that to on-field success in every aspect it seems.

Friend of CGB and SB Nation as a whole, Ben Fennell who covers the NFL draft for NFL Network as well as covering the Eagles and Packers with the AP and The Athletic, recently took time to watch film from 2019, specifically watching Saffell.

That good tape against Benito Jones does bring up memories. As does his game against USC a season ago. He more than holds his own in pass protection and his quick get off that is clearly turning heads in the run game are only going to see him receive praise even more.

As we inch towards a college football season in some fashion, it’s safe to assume we’ll see and hear a lot more about Saffell from nationwide draft pundits.

And that’s good for him. And good for Cal.