With the College Football and NFL seasons now over, a good portion of everyone’s attention is turned to the NFL Draft. Everyone wants to know who their team is going to pick to hopefully make their team better. Like pretty much every other year, a big focus in the draft are quarterbacks. Several teams are looking for their next franchise quarterback, but there’s usually only a few at best that work out.
Some of the big names this year are Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, and Lamar Jackson. After looking through multiple quarterback rankings, I’ve noticed a similar trend. Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen are 99% of the time ranked 1st and 2nd. More often than not I’ve seen Josh Allen ranked 3rd, leaving Mayfield and Jackson ranked 4th and 5th.
I personally think there’s a mistake in just about every quarterback ranking I’ve seen. That mistake is Baker Mayfield. Out of all the rankings I’ve seen, I’ve seen Mayfield be ranked 3rd twice, but no higher than 3rd. It’s my belief that Mayfield is going to be a better quarterback than Darnold, Rosen, Allen, and Jackson. Baker Mayfield should be ranked as the number one quarterback, but because he’s on the border of 6 feet, everyone backs off. Anyone remember Drew Brees or Russell Wilson? Who cares about size?
When looking at the quarterbacks in this class, it’s obvious that most people can’t see what I see in Mayfield. You can talk about how great Josh Allen’s arm is or how well Rosen played against Darnold and USC, but Mayfield has exactly what I would want in a quarterback. Below I’ve listed 4 reasons why Baker Mayfield is better than any other quarterback in this draft.
The most important thing you can have as an NFL quarterback. You can only teach someone accuracy to a certain point. You can tweak mechanics and throwing motions, but there’s only so much you can do. Baker Mayfield has the accuracy you don’t need to change. It can’t get much better than it already is. The past two seasons, Mayfield has completed over 70% of his passes. He never completed less than 64.1% of his passes in his college career. With the exception of Josh Allen in 2015 (6 pass attempts) and Sam Darnold in 2016, Baker Mayfield’s lowest completion percentage is better than any of these quarterbacks have ever had.
Lamar Jackson has the running ability, but he has never completed more than 59.1% of his passes. Josh Allen has a big arm, but his best completion percentage last season was 56.3%. Darnold had a completion percentage of 63.1% while Rosen completed 62.6% of his passes this past season. How is the guy with a 70% completion percentage over the past two years ranked below them?
Have you ever seen someone as confident as Baker Mayfield? Maybe once or twice, but his confidence is something you don’t get out of everyone. Baker Mayfield goes into every game thinking his team will win. Regardless of what happened last week, Mayfield’s mindset is a win. If you want to win in the NFL, you have to be confident.
Mayfield’s confidence is a positive, but it may also be a negative for some teams. He let his confidence lead to some unfavorable actions, which is a red flag for teams. I think it’s a mistake to overlook him because of that. Everyone makes mistakes. Compared to some of the mistakes NFL players are making, Mayfield’s is nothing. The way Mayfield carries himself is something I haven’t seen out of these other quarterbacks. No matter what’s happening, Mayfield plays like he’s winning. If an NFL team wants a future leader at quarterback, they shouldn’t look to Darnold or Rosen, but rather to Baker Mayfield.
I’d say winning is pretty important. Out of all the quarterbacks I’ve listed, Mayfield has more wins than any of them. Darnold was 11-3 this year and 10-3 last year. Josh Rosen never won more than 8 games in college. Josh Allen also never won more than 8 games, and that was against much lower competition. Lamar Jackson never won more than 9 games. Baker Mayfield had at least 11 wins and no more than 2 losses over the last 3 seasons at Oklahoma.
Why would you want a quarterback who can’t win games? I wouldn’t. Mayfield wins games. You can make an argument for Darnold here, but the other quarterbacks in this draft don’t win games. Yeah, they win more than they lose, but that just makes them mediocre. Baker Mayfield is a winner.
Baker Mayfield started his college career as a walk on. Nobody wanted him. He walked on at Texas Tech and won the starting job. He then gets hurt and losses his starting job. After transferring to Oklahoma, he eventually beat out the other quarterbacks on the roster. All he did after that was go 34-6 with the Sooners. Oh and he also won the Heisman after setting the all time mark for quarterback rating with a rating of 198.9. He also has the second highest from the previous year.
Some think Mayfield compares to Johnny Manziel. I disagree. Johnny Manziel was good in college, but Baker Mayfield is much better. I think one of the main reasons why Mayfield gets compared to Manziel is because of his antics. The difference I see in Mayfield is that he really wants to work and be better. Manziel just wanted to goof off, go to parties and get drunk all the time.
Baker Mayfield has the opportunity to be special. He knows how to work. He’s worked for literally everything he got in his college football career, and he’ll have to do the same in the NFL. These other quarterbacks probably put in a good amount of work in the film room, but not a single one of them has had to work as hard as Baker Mayfield has.
What I Don’t Like About Each Top Quarterback
I thought I’d throw this little extra part in about what I don’t like about all the other top ranked quarterbacks, just in case I haven’t convinced you about Baker Mayfield yet.
Too many turnovers. He tries forcing the ball too much, which leads to interceptions. You can’t do that in the NFL. His mechanics are very flawed, which usually doesn’t do so well in the NFL. Only two years of starting experience, and he didn’t show improvement from his first year starting to his second. If anything he took a step back.
Unlike Darnold, Rosen improved in his last season. He had his best completion percentage, passing yards, and TD passes. While that may be true, Rosen was never able to help his team win enough. Was it the talent he had around him? You could blame it on that, but if he can’t win with lack of talent in college, how can he win in the NFL if he gets drafted by the Browns or Giants?
He didn’t even have 2,000 yards passing or 20 TD’s. His 56.3% completion percentage is terrible. He had a terrible season, playing against much lesser competition than these other quarterbacks. I’d take Allen in the later rounds, but there’s no way I’m taking a guy with 1,800 passing yards and 16 TD’s in the first. Just like Darnold, he took a step back, only his was more extreme.
Lamar Jackson is not accurate. At least not as accurate as you’d like him to be. This guy can make a lot of plays with his legs, but that’s not going to be good enough. The way defense’s are being built now, Jackson will get destroyed by some of these teams. He’s a smaller Cam Newton to me. Cam Newton gets wrecked, but can sustain a lot more than he should be able to because he’s huge. Jackson is not that.