Double Take: NFL Teams Should Be Careful About Drafting Baker Mayfield

Mike Murphy

Baker Mayfield had a career night on Saturday in Oklahoma’s 31-16 beat down of Ohio State. He was 27 for 35 for 386 yards and three passing touchdowns. Now those are numbers that pop out at NFL scout as they can only utter “wow.”

But some how, Mayfield’s draft stock went down on Saturday night, and it wasn’t what he did during the game…it was his actions that followed. Mayfield, clearly a leader for this Oklahoma team, decided to aggressively plant an OU flag in the middle of the Buckeyes’ stadium turf. It was a clear sign that Mayfield was saying ‘we own you and your field’. But this action is really only a blatant sign of disrespect and an even more obvious sign that his character is not where it should be.

NFL scouts, now more than ever, have to be very aware of what a player’s character is like before they invest in drafting him. Take for example a guy like Johnny Manziel, who was the most dynamic player in college football between the years 2012 and 2013. Johnny Football threw for an impressive 63 touchdowns and ran for 30 more during that two-year span. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2012 and probably should have earned the honors again in 2013.

But his character was always in question as he was known to be a party animal and “the man” on campus. After 15 NFL games between 2014 and 2015, Manziel has found himself out of the NFL and into various rehab facilities but still trying to hold on to football. Recently, Manziel said that he would like to get into coaching if there are interest from NFL teams looking for his services.

Mayfield does not have any addiction-based problems that we are aware of, but the matter of his character in the face of victory is something to consider.

Last year Ohio State beat Oklahoma, at Oklahoma, and proceeded to sing the Buckeyes’ fight song on the field after the game. A classless move by Ohio State. So Mayfield decided to take revenge on the Buckeyes for their antics last year.

“Part of it was [what happened] last year,” said Mayfield. “It was embarrassing for them to sing their fight song on our field. They’re probably feeling the same way right now.”

That is a childish attitude displayed by Mayfield. If you want to succeed in the NFL you will need to be gracious in times of defeat and in times of victory also. There is no room for tasteless revenge in any sport or any work place.

There is no doubt that Mayfield would make an excellent quarterback at the next level when going off of stats alone. He has a combined 76 touchdown passes and only 15 interceptions between 2016-2015 and looks to be on the path to another 30-plus TD season with his six touchdowns through two games played.

Perhaps a scout or someone close will get in his ear and tell him to knock it off when it comes to the antics off the field. They may be funny and entertaining on social media, but he’ll pay for it on draft night.