As the NFL Draft approaches, one big question mark has been Baker Mayfield. There’s no question this dude can play but a lot of people are concerned about his character and he is constantly compared to Johnny Manziel.
Now Mel Kiper JR does have Mayfield going #6 to the Jets, which is exactly where I’d have him going, but a lot of people do not think he will translate to the league. The Johnny Manziel comparison comes up a lot because people question Baker’s character. These character questions are somewhat legitimized by things like Baker getting arrested in 2017 for public intoxication.
When asked about these comparisons, according to ESPN, Baker dismissed them. Baker says him and Manziel are “wired differently” and “not the same mentally.” Mayfield also said “We’re two completely different people, I’ve always been a team-oriented guy. Not saying Johnny wasn’t, but I’ve quickly earned the respect of my teammates because of how I worked.”
I agree with Baker in dismissing these comments. Johnny Manziel had an addiction problem and openly admitted that he suffers from bipolar disorder in an interview with ABC. Baker’s problems are not that deep whatsoever. Yes, he got arrested for public intoxication, but at the end of the day he is still a college kid and we all make dumb decisions sometimes. People came to him after a game versus Kansas. Kansas successfully got in his head by not shaking hands at the coin toss and seemingly targeting him throughout the game. This, of course, led to some crotch grabbing on the sideline and a whole lot of shit talk from Baker. The dude is just a competitor and these issues can be fixed.
He can learn to suppress his emotions, but what Baker has that you cannot learn is that “it factor”.
Anytime he steps on a field you are gonna get a 110% effort from him. For example, a play against OSU, Baker handed the ball off to Joe Mixon and proceeded to run down the field and pick up a block for Mixon. He is a great leader and his teammates seem to love him. These are things you just can’t teach. And the kid is a certified baller. In his 3 years with Oklahoma, he accumulated 12,292 passing yards, 119 passing touchdowns and won the 2017 Heisman Trophy.
At the end of the day, Baker Mayfield is a great player, a leader and a player who will always give you his all. He’s made a few mistakes but I truly believe he will learn from all of it and grow as a person and player. I can’t wait to watch him play in the league, no matter what team he lands on.
Written By Vince LoBiondo
(Photos Ron Jenkins/Getty Images & ESPN)