Is Baker Mayfield Worth a Top 10 NFL Draft Pick?
In short, yes he does. Unless you’ve hidden under a rock you’ve probably heard much of the media talking about Baker Mayfield and his credentials the last couple of weeks, especially after his games against rivals Oklahoma State and TCU.
But the question needs to be asked, “why now?” Why is it that just now we are hearing about Mayfield in the 1st round discussions after 3 consecutive 3500 yard and 30 TD seasons?
Now that’s a good question.
Let’s face it, Mayfield wasn’t someone who was firmly on scouts and GM’s radars. He was the 1028th rated recruit in the class of 2013 and only 4 FBS schools offered scholarships (Washington State, New Mexico, Rice and Florida Atlantic). Not to mention he’s barely 6 feet and was a walk-on with Texas Tech.
A Look at the Numbers
If you’re at all a metrics person, it’s hard to ignore the stats and grades by professional graders. Pro Football Focus has QB’s graded on 10 different major categories, and Mayfield ranks # 1 in almost every one of them among draft-eligible QBs. If that isn’t enough for you, Mayfield has thrown for over a 70% completion percentage the last 2 seasons. This year he is on pace for over 4,000 yards passing and 40 TDs. Impressive enough?
Mayfield has been impressive in each of his 4 seasons starting. In fact, he’s shown the ability to make plays from all over the field. Also with his feet, with over 20 rushing TDs.
What The Critics Are Saying
One of the biggest knocks on Mayfield as mentioned already is that scouts and draftniks will continue to pick on Mayfield’s size. While there is little he can do about his height, Mayfield has gained considerable strength and muscle since arriving as a freshman at Oklahoma. After seeing the success of undersized guys like Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Tyrod Taylor, Teddy Bridgewater and Tony Romo, many throughout the NFL world have begun being more accepting of the undersized QB. What Mayfield measures in at the combine or senior bowl is going to have a huge impact. Especially on where teams view him at in the early QB discussion.
Many others will criticize the fact that the Sooners play in the Big-12 with teams playing very little defense. It’s very easy for decent QBs that have a good offensive line with some good skill players to throw up piles of numbers. People will continue to throw out names like Bryce Petty, Trevone Boykin, Seth Russell, Brandon Weeden, RG3, Landry Jones, Geno Smith, and Colt McCoy. The list goes on and on. Looking at strictly the conference is lazy evaluating and fails to look at the actual traits of the individual players listed.
Others will point to the fact that Baker Mayfield plays with the best offensive line in college football. Also, he has played with some of the best RBs in college football throughout his career. He’s had more time in the pocket than any other QB. How will he do when he has an NFL pass rush bearing down on him? Good argument. But I believe despite that, Mayfield has the traits to set him up to succeed.
What Separates Mayfield
Mayfield is the definition of competitive. He’s one of the biggest trash talkers in college football. He has a reputation on campus for his toughness. As a runner, Mayfield looks and runs like a veteran RB. Showing physicality, vision, change of direction, and the willingness to plow forward and fight for those extra yards.
Baker Mayfield is the definition of a playmaker, always looking downfield and looking to make plays. He is almost reminiscent of Brett Favre with his ability to scan the field and make plays. He rarely locks onto his first target.
Additionally, Baker has all the physical traits you look for in a QB. His accuracy is second to none in college football, showing the ability to make all the throws. He throws a beautiful deep ball, showing the arm strength and the touch teams are looking for. His vision and ability to read the field are far beyond all the rest of the draft-eligible QBs.
I honestly believe people for far too long have been looking for all the reasons NOT to have Baker Mayfield in the 1st round discussion. Thus, many are now realizing there aren’t many reasons so it’s about time he gets added to it.