Baker Mayfield has been unfairly stereotyped as a player who can’t make the tight throws required in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo.
NFL talent evaluators typically think up-tempo air raid offenses such as Oklahoma’s inflate a quarterback’s statistics by creating a lot of opportunities for easy completions in space. Mayfield benefited from those plays during his time with the Sooners, but PFF’s numbers indicate he actually was better than any other quarterback in the 2018 draft when throwing into tight windows.
While Mayfield had the lowest percentage of tight-window throws in the class last season, he was by far the most accurate in those situations, coming in 9.0 percent better than the No. 2 quarterback, UCLA’s Josh Rosen. Mayfield has the zip to fire the ball in between zones and he has the accuracy to “throw receivers open” away from the leverage of defenders.
PFF long has considered Mayfield the top quarterback in this draft class. He owns the two highest single-season PFF grades for a quarterback since the site began grading college players, including a 94.8 during his Heisman Trophy season in 2017.
Latest projections have Mayfield going No. 3 overall to the New York Jets. He’ll find out exactly where he will start his NFL career when the first round of the draft begins Thursday, April 26.