The 2018 NFL Draft is quickly approaching. So, let’s take a look at the strengths, weaknesses and draft day predictions for Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma was one of the most polarizing players in college football this past season. Mayfield led the Sooners to a phenomenal 12-2 record, which landed the team a spot in the College Football Playoff. However, they lost, which marked the end of his time in college.
The 22-year old took home the Heisman Trophy, and also collected the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, Davey O’Brien Award, AP Player of the Year Award, Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and a spot on the Consensus All-America Team in 2017.
Did you get all of that? Ya, Mayfield had an incredibly dominant season.
Mayfield’s collegiate career flourished when he transferred from Texas Tech to Oklahoma. He threw for 119 touchdowns, ran for 18 touchdowns and threw for 12,292 yards in three seasons as a starter for the Sooners.
So, with all of that in the past, Mayfield now looks to make a splash in the NFL. Where he may be getting the draft room call early in the draft.
According to NFL.com, Mayfield’s most prominent strengths are the fact he is tough and he shows up and competes at the greatest level possible.
Mayfield played great against the SEC, which is said to be the best conference in college football. He went 7-3 against them, which can reflect his competitiveness and desire to play well against top competition.
Essentially, Mayfield plays with a purpose and to show everyone that he has the ability to play with the best competition. The Heisman Trophy winner also has great, yet underappreciated arm-talent. He completed 68.4 percent of his passes during college, and he completed 53 percent of his passes of 21+ yards or more over his last two seasons.
Mayfield reads and reacts, which can be seen with his career rushing numbers of 1,083 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns.
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Mayfield’s strength of being a strong competitor may also be one of his biggest weaknesses. He often would lose his cool during games, such as his obscene gesture during a game against Kansas this year.
This then leads to him being a bit cocky, which you don’t necessarily want in a top draft pick.
According to NFL.com, Mayfield benefited a lot from the type of offense run at Oklahoma. Also, the Big 12 is known for being a conference full of offensive juggernauts and little defense, so his numbers may be a bit inflated.
The offense the Sooners ran is a weakness because Mayfield rarely played under center, which is something he will most definitely have to do in the NFL. Another weakness of Mayfield is his footwork. He often finds himself throwing off his back foot, which can lead to bad throws.
However, the biggest concern with Mayfield is uncontrollable. That weakness? His size. He is listed at 6’1″ and 220 pounds. Size is an issue because it may lead to batted down passes at the line of scrimmage and inability to scan the field properly.
While there have been recent quarterbacks of that size that have had success in the NFL, such as Russell Wilson, they have not warranted first-round selections.
DRAFT DAY PREDICTION
NFL.com has Mayfield projected in the first round and many mock drafts have him anywhere from top five to within the first 15 picks. So, it seems unclear as to where he will land. But, Mayfield will more than likely be taken in Round 1. The question of how early is unanswered, but he could possibly be on the radar of several early first-round teams that have a major need at quarterback.