The 2018 Rose Bowl will go down as one of the best college football games in recent memory, a double-overtime thriller that saw Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners come oh-so-close to a championship game appearance.
And while it may be painful for Sooners fans to review tape of that game, Mayfield’s performance was sublime. His stats didn’t jump off the page like some of his other performances that season, but he sliced and diced Georgia in the first half to give Oklahoma a halftime lead.
That first-half performance showed off all the tools in Mayfield’s arsenal, and it’s why the Heisman Trophy winner is ready for the NFL, according to SB Nation’s Ian Boyd.
Boyd broke down Mayfield’s game, keying in on his ability to follow Oklahoma’s gameplan to the T, shrug off oncoming pass rushers and fit throws in between gaps in the coverage of an elite SEC defense.
“On one hand, this is high-level execution of a scripted attack, rather than progression and off-schedule playmaking of the sort that excites scouts,” Boyd said of Mayfield’s first half. “On the other, it sure is precise against good defenders.
“He’s a multi-faceted leader who made the most of whoever his teammates were and whatever his OC called, regardless of the caliber of his opponent.”
Mayfield is one of four men that are the generally considered to be battling to be the first quarterback taken in the draft. Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen are all getting plenty of hype from scouts.
But only one of those four players won a Heisman Trophy, and only one appeared in the College Football Playoff. He just so happened to be the one cutting through Georgia in the first half of the 2018 Rose Bowl.