Drew Brees, Case Keenum, and Johnny Manziel. These are the comparables Mayfield tends to get due to the similarities of being undersized. Brees because of his strong QB play, and Manziel because of his distasteful antics.
Mayfield is an interesting prospect this year. He is the prototypical Bill Walsh style quarterback. Senior, check. A three-year starter, check. Offensive wizard, check.
So what’s the problem?
The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner’s season ended abruptly in round one of the college football playoffs with a 54-48 double-overtime loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. Despite not winning a national championship, Mayfield had one of the best seasons in all of college football.
The Sooner quarterback is a polarizing talent. Mayfield tossed for 4,627 yards with 43 touchdowns and just six interceptions while adding five more scores on the ground. He has great athleticism, he takes care of the football and is very accurate. He’s completed over 70 percent of his throws over the last two seasons and has never had double-digit interceptions in a season. He’s kind of the opposite of Josh Allen in a way. Mayfield has all the eye-popping stats but doesn’t look the part.
Size will certainly be an issue for some NFL executives.
There is always trepidation on whether six-foot-one quarterbacks can adjust to the NFL. Often the concern is that shorter quarterbacks struggle to see over the offensive line. Another concern is if the quarter is able to make all the necessary throws with leaping giants in front of them looking to bat down low balls.
Russell Wilson suffered from this train of thought during the draft process. He was a talented quarterback who fell in the draft because of his lack of NFL size. Six years later he’s made teams think twice before writing off shorter quarterbacks. This should help Mayfield’s case, as should Keenum’s success in Minnesota this past season.
The other knock on Mayfield is his character. Not that he’s a bad locker room guy, but rather some of his personal antics have been distasteful.
After a big win over Ohio State in the Buckeye’s home dome, Mayfield took a Sooners flag and planted it in the middle of the field to make a statement. The statement was negatively perceived in the media and around football and Mayfield’s character took a hit. His character was brought into question again when he directed a crotch grab toward Kansas Jayhawks players after scoring a touchdown.
Not the best look for the Sooner star as he gears up for the NFL draft.
Nevertheless, Mayfield is an intriguing talent for the Bills. He is definitely capable of being a first-round, if not top-10, pick in the draft. However, if the team feels he could become a headache to deal with going forward (I.E Johnny Football), then it would be difficult to imagine the Bills trading up to select him.