Baker Mayfield has learned a lot as an NFL rookie.
The long and grueling road to the league opened his eyes to the level of scrutiny NFL players endure on a daily basis.
He first truly understood the magnitude of the scrutiny after his well-publicized arrest in Arkansas, he told SI’s Robert Klemko on Episode 3 of SI TV’s “The Big Interview.”
“When did you realize,” Klemko asked Mayfield, “how big the scrutiny level was in the NFL?”
“To be honest with you, right after I got slammed by the cops in Arkansas,” Mayfield said. “Waking up the next day and seeing the headlines on ESPN SportsCenter. Just realizing the spotlight that we’re in.
“But it’s a blessing to be in this position. Not many get to do it. We all have the opportunity to be one of 32 people in the world to have a starting quarterback job in the NFL. It’s a blessing. There’s so much responsibility that comes with it, but that’s why we do it, because there’s so many opportunities and so many positives that come from it.”
The arrest clouded Mayfield’s otherwise stellar senior season, which ended with the quarterback winning a Heisman Trophy and Big 12 championship.
FOX Sports Radio’s Colin Cowherd said Mayfield was “undraftable,” because of the arrest. He managed to land as the No. 1 overall pick, however, in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Mayfield hasn’t been arrested since his run in with the Fayetteville, Ark., police in February 2017.
He is trying to navigate an NFL playbook with the Cleveland Browns and win a starting job.
Watch the full interview
Watch the full interview at SI.tv for the full interview (SI.tv is a subscription-based service that currently offers a 7-day free trial). The line of questioning quoted above begins around the 17:02 mark.