Baker Mayfield Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Can be an accurate passer with good ball placement
Throws receivers open
Excellent touch passer
Throws a very catchable ball
Superb ball placement and timing to lead receivers for yards after the catch
Throws with good timing
Escapability to extend plays
Difficult to sack
Good at throwing on the run
Can pick up yards on the ground
Enough arm to make all the throws in the NFL
Undersized; shorter than ideal
Gets happy feet in the pocket
Inconsistent field vision
Can have issues reading the field
Teams question how will he perform when forced to stay in the pocket?
Didn't play a lot of top competition
Will need more development for working under center
Transition from a college-style to pro-style offense
Summary: After starting out his career at Texas Tech, Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma, where he quickly became a point-machine in the Sooners' offense. He stepped up in 2015, carrying the Sooners late in the season as they earned a spot in the college football playoff. That season, the redshirt sophomore completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,700 yards with 36 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also ran for 405 yards with seven scores. In 2016, Mayfield completed 71 percent of his passes for 3,965 yards with 40 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He picked up six rushing touchdowns as well.
Mayfield completed 71 percent of his passes this season for 4,627 yards with 43 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2017. He also had five rushing touchdowns. The redshirt senior led Oklahoma to an impressive road win at Ohio State, lost a shootout at home to Iowa State, and led the Sooners to an epic win over Oklahoma State, in which Mayfield threw for 598 yards on the Cowboys.
With his strong play in 2017, Mayfield put himself on the radar for NFL scouts. There is a lot to like about his play for the next level. He is a gritty gunslinger quarterback who has an "it factor" to his game. Mayfield doesn't have a strong arm, but it is good enough to make the throws required in the NFL. One of his most impressive strengths as a passer is being able to locate the ball well and throw receivers open. He is very good with his timing and trajectory on passes to hit receivers on the run and set them up for lots of yards after the catch. Mayfield is very skilled to loft in touch passes downfield and throws a very catchable ball. He can be an accurate passer with superb ball placement.
Mayfield has excellent mobility to dodge sacks, escape pressure, extend plays with his feet, plus he throws well on the run. Mayfield also can pick up critical yards on the ground and adds the value of being a dangerous threat on third-and-short or third-and-manageable.
Mayfield has leadership potential for the NFL, and his fighting style of play can lift those around them. He also has some maturity concerns on and off the field, and those will get scrutinized during the leadup to the 2018 NFL Draft in the team interviews.
Some in the media have said they think Mayfield will be a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. I reached out to some team sources, and they said that could be possible given the way quarterbacks rise. Mayfield is undersized for the NFL with just average arm strength, however. Scouts who saw Mayfield in person already believed he was shorter than his listed height - 6-foot-1 or 6-foot-2 -, which is a common, intentionally misleading, yet inexplicable, error by college football programs. Evaluators who saw Mayfield in person were estimating him to be around 5-foot-11 or 6-foot. While there have been some successful short quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, that is the exception to the norm for quarterbacks who are below 6-foot-2.
Sources say Mayfield can have issues reading defenses, too. One big area of improvement for him is his footwork, because he gets happy feet in the pocket. One college scouting director told me that Mayfield's feet are terrible and that he will need a lot of development there for the NFL. A NFC general manager said they have concerns about how Mayfield will perform when teams force him to stay in the pocket. They also have concerns that Mayfield beat up on a lot of weak Big XII defenses and feel there is the chance that he gets exposed when he plays NFL defenses. Problems from being forced to stay in the pocket showed up somewhat at the Senior Bowl practices, where Mayfield displayed some issues with patience, seeing the field, and checking the ball down a lot.
In speaking to multiple teams, they had second-day grades on Mayfield, but that doesn't mean he won't go in Round 1 during the 2018 NFL Draft. A few general managers told me they believed that Mayfield would go in the bottom half of the first round behind the top quarterback prospects.
As a player with his production and his skill set, Mayfield grades out as a second-day quarterback. There are a plethora of teams in the NFL, however, that are desperate for a franchise quarterback. Thus, Mayfield is likely to be a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Jeff Garcia. Mayfield is a rich-man's Jeff Garcia. His game is similar to Garcia's good years with the 49ers, except Mayfield is a better athlete than Garcia was and has a stronger arm than Garcia ever did. Also similar to Garcia, the intangibles are a mixed bag for Mayfield with some good and some bad. I think if Mayfield pans out in the NFL, he could be a better version of Garcia.
NFL Matches: Cleveland, Denver, New York Giants, New York Jets, Washington, Arizona, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans and Pittsburgh
There are a lot of quarterback-needy teams in the NFL, so that demand will help Mayfield to go higher than his draft grade might suggest. The Browns need a franchise quarterback, but given how high they are picking, they are likely to go with higher-rated signal-callers. The same goes for the Giants and Broncos, as they both could be picking too high in the first round for Mayfield. Both of those teams, however, need a young franchise quarterback.
The Jets and Cardinals could all be picking late in the top 10 or in the early teens. Both of those franchises are in play for Mayfield. The Jets have to get younger as Josh McCown is near the end of his NFL career, and the Cardinals have the problem that Carson Palmer retired.
Even if Tyrod Taylor remains, Buffalo has a new regime that is likely to target a new starting quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Chargers have to start thinking of Philip Rivers' eventual replacement, so they could consider Mayfield. The Saints are in the same situation with Drew Brees, as are the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger. Jacksonville could consider Mayfield as well to be a potential upgrade over Blake Bortles.