NFL teams should be wary of Mayfield
By now, you’ve had a chance to digest what Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield did against Kansas.
After the Kansas captains refused to shake hands with him before their game on Saturday, Mayfield, the leader in the clubhouse to take home the Heisman, predictably torched the 1-win Jayhawks.
And then he grabbed his crotch and began mocking the Kansas players, a move that was caught be every camera in the stadium.
The senior and NFL hopeful has taken a lot of criticism since then, with coach Lincoln Riley benching him for the start of the Sooners’ regular season finale at home against West Virginia. He also stripped him of his captaincy for the game.
Mayfield was genuinely remorseful at a press conference on Monday, and he knows he created an unneeded distraction for his team, which is right in the thick of things for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
The big question on the table seems to be if all the criticism is warranted.
This isn’t Mayfield’s first brush with controversy. Last offseason, he was arrested on public intoxication and fleeing charges. On the field this season, he also planted an Oklahoma flag at the 50-yard line after the Sooners beat Ohio State in Columbus. To be fair, the Ohio State players did the same thing last season in Norman.
In terms of some of the on-field antics, I don’t have a problem with them as far as how he handles himself in college. All things considered, however, I would have serious concerns if I were an NFL general manager.
Mayfield has went from NFL afterthought to in consideration for warranting a first round selection this year, so his behavior is certainly going to continue to be scrutinized.
The problem for Mayfield also is that he doesn’t possess the stature (he goes about 5-11) and body type associated with NFL quarterbacks. Now we’ve seen smaller quarterbacks have big success, most recently with Russell Wilson and Drew Brees, but if you’re Mayfield and already know that your size is going to be held against you, why create more headaches for yourself?
Then there’s the matter of recent first round picks at quarterback who have had maturity issues in college, most notably Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel. Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in 2015, has seen those issues crop up again with his recent Uber run-in, and that’s not even mentioning his spotty on-field play this season. Manziel, the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 draft, is no longer in the league.
The bottom line is maturity at quarterback is more important than other positions. They are the highest-paid players in the league for a reason, and if you have these issues in college, who’s to say they are going to go away in the NFL?
Sorry, I know 22-year olds can be guilty of poor decision making, but I’m just not handing a guy like Baker Mayfield the keys to my franchise, despite his obvious talent.