Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, and Bryce Love are all competing for the Heisman Trophy that will be presented Saturday night. I will examine their potential in the NFL below with Pro Comparisons and analysis. Let’s Dive In!
Winner Prediction: Baker Mayfield (QB) Oklahoma
Passing Yards: 4340
Passing Touchdowns: 41
Baker Mayfield will likely win the Heisman Trophy this season with outstanding numbers. He rolled through the BIG12 and had memorable moments throughout the season, good and bad.
What does this mean for his NFL future?
I am not following the Johnny Manziel comparison. Mayfield is twice the quarterback that Manziel was in college. Mayfield is more accurate, better decision maker on the field, and is closer to the mold of an NFL quarterback than Manziel ever was.
Does that mean I think he is a sure thing in the NFL? Not quite.
Pro Comparison: Philip Rivers and Jeff Garcia
Baker Mayfield is a gamer and a competitor, which is imperative when you like at a guy wanting to lead your franchise at quarterback. You would think this is obvious, but why are there questions about Josh Rosen’s passion for football then? There is no doubt that Mayfield loves the game and wants to compete at the highest level.
Why a Comparison to Philip Rivers?
Have you ever watched Philip Rivers on the sideline and in between plays? He is a passionate football player to say the least. He screams at officials, teammates, and his opponents because of his passion. Rivers is a competitor to the core and so is Mayfield. These antics that you see from Mayfield come from immaturity number one, but also a sense of competitive drive that brings out so much emotion in some athletes. The way Mayfield approaches the game, studies the game, and brings emotion to every aspect of the game reminds me of Philip Rivers.
Why a Comparison to Jeff Garcia?
This is where I see more of the play style that I would expect from Mayfield in the pro game. There is not very many videos of Jeff Garcia on the internet, but here is one that I thought helped explain my comparison:
First thing you here from the video is Troy Aikman describing Jeff Garcia: “Look, he’s a football player and I think his style frustrates Jon Gruden, I really do. I mean he doesn’t get back and sit in the pocket and get into his 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reads. All he does is win.”
Baker Mayfield was in a college spread system that does not translate well into the NFL. A lot of his throws are predetermined before the snap in this high scoring BIG12 offense. Jon Gruden, a well known former NFL coach probably wouldn’t like Baker Mayfield either in his pro-style system. As with any quarterback from college, he will need some work before being ready for the pro-game and an NFL defense compared to the BIG12.
When you watch Garcia throw the ball, it even looks similar to Mayfield. They both are “shorter” for NFL standards both coming in at around 6’1. Garcia was never a beautiful pocket passer, or an elite quarterback in the league, hence why he was on several teams in his NFL career. He was selected to the Pro Bowl four times, which may surprise some people.
This could be Mayfield in the NFL. An unconventional NFL quarterback that just wins. Garcia was always viewed as a leader wherever he want and teammates loved his competitive spirit. The difference may be that Mayfield is a better passer than Garcia ever was in his career. Mayfield can throw a solid deep ball, pretty accurate with the ball, and doesn’t turn the ball over often. Garcia was not labeled as a franchise quarterback, but stabilized the position for a few franchises in his NFL tenure. A coach and organization that puts the right situation and scheme around Mayfield may find that he will not be great, but good enough to be a solid starter in the NFL.