The NFL combine will get underway next week at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Former Oklahoma quarterback and 2017 Heisman winner Baker Mayfield, to no surprise, is among the noteworthy participants.
It will be a chance for Mayfield to further demonstrate the athleticism he displayed every week in the fall with the Sooners. But it will also be an important opportunity for one of the most polarizing characters in college football to earn good standing with NFL general managers, coaches and others.
And the latter may carry more weight for Mayfield than the workouts.
That’s at least what one NFL draft analyst believes heading into the event.
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, NFLDraftScout.com’s Dane Brugler said that interviews will be “100 percent” more important for Mayfield at the combine than any display of athleticism on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“He needs to work out well, but more importantly, he needs to carry himself well when he sits down with GMs, scouts and coaches. And it’s not just answering about his off-field incident or on-field antics, but also where is he mentally from an X’s and O’s standpoint? The OU offense isn’t exactly an NFL scheme and coaches will be eager to get a better understanding of Mayfield above the neck and his feel for passing concepts — that’s what really boosted Patrick Mahomes last year, going from Big 12 project to top-10 draft pick.”
Mayfield’s competitive edge — and often fiery attitude that came with it — was viewed as a red flag by some experts during the 2017 season. For all the video game-like numbers that he posted on the field, Mayfield had plenty of controversial moments — ranging from a flag-plant at Ohio State to an obscene gesture at Kansas.
Nonetheless, Mayfield’s draft stock has only been improving as the offseason progresses. He has also earned some favor with at least one NFL franchise, or so it would appear. It was reported that the Denver Broncos, who own the No. 5 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, requested that Mayfield be placed on their Senior Bowl team one month ago.
Mayfield will have the chance to further boost his standing with franchises across the board in the coming weeks — something that can only help him fulfill his goal of becoming the league’s next franchise quarterback.
The NFL draft will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas from April 26-28. Mayfield told reporters he will be home with his family in Austin during the event.