Baker Mayfield has been undeniably the most polarizing player in college football this past year and he’s only getting started. With his college career at Oklahoma ending in Pasadena, CA on New Year’s Day, Mayfield relaxed with family and friends before heading to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL. Prior to heading to Mobile, Mayfield showed his appreciation for the opportunity to play in an Oklahoma jersey one last time via Twitter.
Headed down to Mobile for the Senior Bowl! This will be the last time I get to put on the Crimson helmet. The past 4 years have been a dream come true, but this is only the beginning. HUGE thanks to my man @OU_ZackHefley for throwing this amazing content together! #MMO pic.twitter.com/3apPA9AdZi
— Baker Mayfield (@baker_mayfield6) January 23, 2018
The 2018 Senior Bowl takes place on January 27th, with events starting Monday of the week. Mayfield was a no-show Monday, reporting to journalist’s he had family matters to deal with. Cleveland editor, Damon Kecman, from Climb the Pocket responded on Twitter to Mayfield’s late arrival.
“Baker Mayfield really finessed the entire Senior Bowl. Showing up late while avoiding height and weight and won’t even end up playing in the game, taking a roster spot away from someone who probably needed it more than him. Made it all about him when he won’t be doing anything”, Kecman said.
The Heisman Winner responded to the criticism later that day via Twitter.
Showing up late? What would you do if your mom had gone to the hospital? Get outta here. Family before myself always.
— Baker Mayfield (@baker_mayfield6) January 23, 2018
Upon reading Mayfield’s tweet, Kecman responded with an apology for his assumptions and deleted his initial tweet.
An apology to Baker Mayfield & his family. pic.twitter.com/VJpMxVETE0
— Damon Kecman (@DownWithDamon) January 23, 2018
Mayfield didn’t comment any further on Kecman’s response, but he did confirm with reporters his mother is getting better and she has another appointment with doctors on January 25th, 2018. Mayfield didn’t report any specific’s in regards to his mother’s appointment or health concerns.
Upon finishing family matters, Mayfield arrived in Mobile around 1:15 on Tuesday, geared up and practicing two hours later. Mayfield will practice and play on the North Squad as requested by the Denver Bronco’s earlier in the month. According to 24/7 sports, Mayfield made a bee-line for Joseph Vance immediately after arriving at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. John Elway, Denver Bronco’s current owner, watched Mayfield from the sideline over the two hour practice.
— Carl Dumler (@CarlDumlerMHH) January 23, 2018
Despite criticism of showing up late to avoid weigh in’s and height measurements, Mayfield had his official measurements taken after finishing practice on Tuesday. Mayfield weighed in at 216 lbs with a height of 6’3/8″. While some scouts see Mayfield as undersized, Denver doesn’t seem as concerned. According to Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post, Vance Joseph had the following to say after hearing about Mayfield’s size.
“I think that’s fine. You watch Drew Bree’s play, he figured it out. He’s a very successful QB. Guys figure it out. Good players figure it out. I wouldn’t be concerned about that.”
Mayfield spoke with reporters after practice Tuesday, answering various questions, with many of the questions aimed towards Mayfield’s thoughts on his first practice with the Bronco’s and his thought’s on playing for them. In addition to those questions, Mayfield slightly answered the question if he’ll play Saturday with, “We’ll see”.
Mayfield finished with a 73.4 grade on Day 1 of practice, just 0.8 points behind Virginia’s QB, Kurt Benkart, the top-graded quarterback for the day.
As the 2018 NFL Draft is slowly approaching, multiple scout reporter’s have Mayfield going 5th to the Bronco’s, while others claim the Jets or Redskins will draft the QB. A small portion even have Baker going 1st to the Cleveland Browns. Speculation aside, April 26th will eventually arrive and reveal exactly where Mayfield will play in the National Football League.
Mayfield returned to Ladd-Peebles Stadium Wednesday, playing with just as much tenacity as the day prior. Chris Trapasso from CBS Sports reports, “In 7-on-7, Mayfield got into a rhythm, as he completed many passes to different receivers. The velocity of those throws was impressive. He did hold onto the ball too long on consecutive plays that led to a throwaway and scramble after the aforementioned would be sack by Okoronkwo.”
Mayfield spoke with NFL Network upon finishing practice.
Reporters and Journalists weren’t the only ones giving their opinion on The Heisman Winners performance. John Elway commented on what he’s seen from the quarterback so far.
“He’s a guy that competes. He comes out here and throws the ball very well. He’s got a strong arm. He throws with good anticipation. He’s had a good couple of days,” Elway said after practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. “We wanted to have an opportunity to get to meet him. Obviously we’ve seen what everyone else has, the type of player that he is. To be able to be around him and get to know him a little bit was important.”
The questions of whether or not Mayfield will play in The Senior Bowl continued into Day 2. According to Mary Kay Cabot from cleveland.com, “Mayfield acknowledged that he hasn’t decided if he’ll play in the game yet, but believes he can show teams in the three practices what they need to see.”
Save the best for last, third times a charm, whatever you want to call it, Baker Mayfield showed up and showed out the final day of practice. Separating himself from the other QB’s, Mayfield displayed his ability to be accurate, agile, and above all else, competitive. Mayfield received all the attention when he completed a perfect corner pocket pass to Iowa State WR, Allen Lazard.
It is Thursday during Senior Bowl practice week and after his TD toss, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield is as hyped up as if it were the regular season. pic.twitter.com/kR5C79hgbh
— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) January 25, 2018
The “bad boy” image has followed Mayfield throughout his college career and continued during Senior Bowl week, with constant comparisons to Johnny Manziel. While reports of scouts thinking Mayfield has character issues, Cleveland Brown’s GM, John Dorsey, came to The Heisman Winners defense.
“Every young man will make a mistake in his life, I bet you,” Dorsey said. “And I think he’s very remorseful of that mistake and I think he’s moved forward from that, and he’s trying to make himself a better person, going through the process.”
Mayfield seemed to show no attention to the comparisons and focus on his game as he stood out as top QB throughout the week. According to Nicki Jhablava from The Denver Post, Mayfield had the following to say when asked about his image and being undersized:
“To prove that I can be the best quarterback in this class, and I’m ready to step up to the next level, no matter what anybody wants to put me — as a systems quarterback, a 6-foot guy, it doesn’t matter,” he said after the second day of practice. “If you can win ball games, you can win ballgames.”
The final day wrapped up with the questions still in the air if Mayfield would play Saturday. Upon finishing a brief interview after practice Thursday, Mayfield headed to the locker rooms telling the media, ““I’ve gotta get out of here, I’m sorry,” he said. “I’ve gotta go check on my momma.”
Alex Martin Smith from Oklahoma Diehards reports, “It might have been the last anyone sees of Mayfield this week at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. For three days now, he has been clear that his status for the Saturday game is up in the air. On Thursday, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller tweeted that Mayfield will indeed miss the Senior Bowl. Adding to the confusion, NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweeted that Mayfield would be in attendance Saturday but did not know whether he’d play.”
Although it may have been the last time we see Mayfield in a Sooners helmet, he left the field with class, When asked about his experience throughout the week with the players and working with the Denver Broncos, Mayfield said, “The coaching staff has been unbelievable. It’s been a great experience being around them, learning from them and competing against some of the best quarterbacks in the country and being around the rest of the guys around the hotel. Just a great group of guys, being around guys — you know, we’re going through the same process. It’s a tough process, too, so just being around them, being relaxed, just talking to them man to man, it’s good.”
The NFL draft takes place on April 26th, when we will find out where The Baker Mayfield lands within the NFL. Although he will do incredible wherever he ends up, Oklahoma wouldn’t mind having Mayfield for just one more year. or in such a special case, one more game.
Here’s a look back on Mayfield’s career leading up to The NFL Draft.
The Senior Bowl will take place January 27th with kick-off at 1:30. NFL Network will air the game.