Baker Mayfield NFL Draft Profile
It’s no question that the quarterback class of the 2018 NFL Draft has garnered more discussion than any other position. With the NFL Combine underway, scouts and coaches will have an opportunity to see if the buzz surrounding the group of signal-callers is real. However, there is one QB that continues to grab headlines and generate the most pre-draft hype. Oklahoma quarterback, Baker Mayfield.
A three-year starter for the Sooners, Mayfield averaged a 69.8% completion rate during his college career at Oklahoma. He turned in a spectacular senior season completing 285 of 404 passes, and throwing 43 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also rushed for 311 yards and five scores. The young quarterback culminated his 2017 campaign by winning the Heisman trophy in December.
Mayfield does not possess the prototypical size (6’0 5/8, 215 pounds) that is normally valued in a starting caliber quarterback. But history has shown that undersized QB’s can still thrive in the NFL, just ask Drew Brees or Russell Wilson. And just like the quarterbacks that have had success before him, it is the intangibles of Mayfield that will carry him much higher than his height.
There is one thing can’t be denied about Mayfield, he’s a leader. Regardless of his on-field demeanor, the twenty-two year old is a leader of men. Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook, who played with Mayfield for two seasons at Oklahoma publicly spoke about his former quarterbacks’ relentless pursuit of being a teammate.
Mayfield is also a competitor. Approaching the game with swagger and a tough attitude that his teammates can rally behind. As an elusive quarterback, he shows great pocket awareness finding ways to make plays when the pocket breaks down. Additionally, the former Sooner doesn’t panic in the face of an oncoming defense as he posted a 111.6 passer rating when under pressure. Displaying great anticipation, Mayfield is capable of reading and processing defenses and delivering accurate throws with good timing.
Here is how Mayfield matches up in passing efficiency to the other top quarterbacks in this year’s draft.
Passing Efficiency over the last 3 seasons:
Sam Darnold – 153.7
Lamar Jackson – 142.9
Josh Rosen – 140.1
Josh Allen – 137.7
Baker Mayfield – 189.4
— Blinkin Riley (@blinkinriley) February 26, 2018
But just like any rookie, there are areas that Mayfield can improve his game. The combine will be a good platform for the young quarterback to answer questions regarding his inconsistent arm strength. Occasionally he will under-throw his receivers when going deep. Additionally, Mayfield will try to do too much when extending plays that can sometimes lead to sacks or turnovers.
While Mayfield continues to receive praise for his on-field play, he has also endured some backlash for his off-field actions. Spiking the Oklahoma flag on Ohio State’s field or jawing with opposing teams from the sidelines have raised questions about his character. As well as a video of Mayfield’s arrest from February 2017, that went viral and received some harsh media criticism.
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) February 22, 2018
Teams interested in selecting Mayfield will need to evaluate him correctly. GM’s and coaches are sure to conduct thorough interviews in regards to his character and personality. In order for the young quarterback to succeed, he will need to be placed in an offensive scheme where he is the focal point.
As it pertains to the quarterback class, the draft picture will begin to gain some clarity following this weeks combine. Draft analysts have mocked Mayfield to go as high as number one or as low as fifteen overall. In his latest mock draft, our own Joe Hulbert predicts that the former Sooner will be selected by the New York Jets with the sixth overall pick.
Despite what the critics say about him, Mayfield is not Johnny Manziel 2.0. While character concerns have been a blemish on the young quarterback’s reputation, his abilities as an on-field leader have never been in doubt. Strip away the negative publicity and you’ll find a captain, a competitor, a teammate and arguably the most productive quarterback in this draft.