Oklahoma Sooners

2018 NFL Draft Prediction | Quarterback Baker Mayfield

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

The story of Baker Mayfield’s rise from walk-on to national title contender, to Heisman winner, to first round draft pick is remarkable all on it’s own. Not lacking confidence, Mayfield’s charisma and leadership inspired those around him to achieve higher levels of success, to the point that teammates on both sides of the ball played for him. Outside of the “measurables” that’s what NFL general managers are writing on their profile boards as well.

Strengths

Mayfield always plays with a chip on his shoulder but he’s able to keep control and not play loose. Even though he has a small frame he plays with tenacity and has a toughness than many QBs don’t have.

Mayfield is very good at making pre-snap reads and is a quick decision maker with the ball in his hands. His arm strength is underrated and his touch on the pass may be the best among quarterbacks in this year’s draft.

His mobility buys him extra time and his downfield vision while on the move has been an asset throughout his collegiate career.

He’s an accurate passer on all three levels with a 53% completion rate on passes of 21-yards or more, and a 67% completion rate when on the move.

Weaknesses

He doesn’t have the prototypical NFL QB size and his drop-down release makes him susceptible to batted passes. He had larger passing windows in college than he will in the NFL due to the spread offense which will increase the importance of pre-snap reads.

Mayfield’s footwork needs to improve and become less erratic and his deep passes need to have less hang time.

Draft Prediction

The Cleveland Browns seem content to take either Josh Allen or Sam Darnold with the top pick. My guess is that they’ll go with Darnold because he’s more of a sure thing (between the two) and the Browns absolutely can’t afford a miss here.

Despite the recent rumors of taking a quarterback, I thing the Giants are going to stick with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley at number two. This leaves the Jets to grab Mayfield at number three. New York will have a choice to make should Cleveland take Allen and leave Darnold on the board. However, I don’t think that will happen and even if it does the Jets seem to be pretty set on Mayfield.

Other NFL Draft Predictions

QB Mason Rudolph

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