Ryan Hayes played tight end, defensive end, and even punted playing football at Michigan’s Traverse City West High School. The four-star recruit switched to left tackle once in college and started 29 games while a member of the Michigan Wolverines.
As a seventh-round draft pick by the Miami Dolphins, Hayes indicated that he would do whatever could help the team win — even if it meant kicking inside and playing guard.
“I don’t know a ton about what [the Dolphins] want me to do yet, but I’m definitely – I’ll play anywhere. I can play tackle,” Hayes said on April 29. “Played tackle – both tackles a little bit in college – mostly left, but I’d be open to moving inside, wherever gets me on the field and helps the team win. So I’m open.”
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper noted that he was surprised that Hayes lasted until the seventh round and that his 2022 tape was “very solid.” The Draft Network projected Hayes to move inside due to his arm length and believes there is potential for him to thrive as a guard.
“In high school, I was actually – I came into college as a tight end, so I actually hadn’t played any o-line until I got to Michigan,” Hayes said. “And then for my first year I played on the right side and then the last four years I was mainly left tackle.”
Liam Eichenberg was Miami’s left guard in 2022 but missed seven starts due to injury and allowed two sacks and five penalties throughout his 625 snaps at the position. While coach Mike McDaniel expects improvement him Eichenberg in 2023, Hayes may be the right candidate to push for the position after surrendering zero sacks last season.