Baker Mayfield, QB
School: Oklahoma | Conference: Big 12
College Experience: Redshirt Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 215lbs
Projected Draft Status: 1st round
NFL Comparison: Russell Wilson
The redshirt senior quarterback has won about every award at the college level imaginable, except for a national title. In 2017, Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, and the Big 12 Championship. He was Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and unanimous First-Team All-American quarterback. Oh, and he carried Oklahoma to a berth in the College Football Playoff, losing to Georgia in the Rose Bowl 52-48 in double overtime.
Mayfield is defined by the chip on his shoulder, which he describes as a “boulder” because he was passed over by many D1 programs out of high school and walked onto the team at Texas Tech. He won Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, but transferred after his freshman year to Oklahoma. Sitting out 2014, he was the starter from 2015-2017, and the rest is history.
Mayfield is an uber-competitive, fiery, vocal player that by-and-large is both loved and respected by teammates. Undersized but thickly built, he has functional mobility and an underrated arm with tremendous accuracy. The one major blemish, other than his size, is an arrest for public intoxication/disorderly conduct in February 2017.
- A+ competitiveness and hates losing. Loves the game, respected by teammates and naturally assumes alpha role in the huddle
- Processes information quickly on the field and is able to look off safeties and linebackers to throw his receivers open
- Throws from a stable base with zippy release when there’s a clean pocket. Also able to make off-platform throws with accuracy. Plenty of arm strength (53% completion rate on throws traveling 20+ yards)
- Functional mobility to move within a messy pocket and occasionally make plays with his legs. Ran a 4.80 at the Combine and has plus acceleration.
- “Clutch” player that rises to the occasion when team needs it — elite redzone efficiency
- Thickly-built guy with enough body armor to sustain NFL hits. Negligible college injury history
- Under desired height for the position by 3-4 inches
- Played in stat-friendly spread system that created easy throws in conference ridiculed for lack of defensive play
- Attitude can be seen as overly cocky and arrogant, might not mesh well with all coaching staffs and locker rooms
- College success partly a function of excellent offensive schemes (Bob Stoops, Lincoln Riley) and talented supporting cast. Will need an offense built around his strengths
Baker Mayfield, No. 1 on our 2018 NFL Draft board pic.twitter.com/9YdPnkOWrh— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 14, 2018
It's hard to not enjoy Baker Mayfield play quarterback. He scans the entire field to track all of his potential targets. Hits the backside route (Andrews) once he realizes playside is covered. Having no hesitation caught that single-high safety slippin'. Confident & precise. pic.twitter.com/v1T6MU7B6M— Cagen Cantrell (@CeeingTheDraft) March 8, 2018
Not too many QBs can keep their head moving, while moving in the pocket and running through their progressions, to find this receiver and throw on the run like this. Baker Mayfield can. John Dorsey would be smart to pick Mayfield. pic.twitter.com/1GcybAXEyW— FantasyHawk (@TheFantasyHawk) March 9, 2018
How He’d Fit on the Redskins
Mayfield won’t make it to the Redskins’ pick, and the team traded for Alex Smith in the offseason rather than compete for a rookie quarterback in the draft (likely giving up many more assets than a 3rd-round pick and Kendall Fuller to get “their guy”).
However, I can’t help but think that Mayfield would excel as a quarterback in D.C. He fits Gruden’s scheme well which contains many of the same spread concepts as Baker mastered at Oklahoma. He has enough functional mobility to make plays outside the pocket and be a threat on zone reads and RPOs. From an intangible perspective, Mayfield has the experience dealing with the media and the national spotlight that accompanies being a franchise QB in a major market.
In an alternate universe where Scot McCloughan is still Redskins’ GM, maybe he would work out a deal to move up and take Mayfield, since he’s on the record as saying Mayfield is the next Brett Favre. That is not reality though, and Mayfield will likely be playing next year in a Browns, Jets, Broncos, or Bills jersey. Whichever team he goes to, I think Mayfield has the right tools to be a successful franchise quarterback in the NFL.