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Crabbs | Four throws to summarize Baker Mayfield

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NFL Draft

Crabbs | Four throws to summarize Baker Mayfield

Oklahoma Quarterback Baker Mayfield enters his third season as the starter in the Sooners program. Fresh off of a 3rd place finish in the 2016 Heisman polling, Mayfield is poised to lead Oklahoma back to the College Football Playoff this season. As a prospect, Mayfield has shown growth throughout his time in Oklahoma. He’s come along especially well since he walked on with the Texas Tech Red Raiders back in 2013.

All of these clips are brought to you by Krossover, NDT Scouting’s film partner for the 2018 NFL Draft season.

Mayfield is one of the 33 seniors that Jon Ledyard, Joe Marino and I will each be showcasing this summer as part of our NDT Scouting Premium services and I was eager to dig into his film to see specifically where he is as a passer.

The end result? These four throws, which stand out specifically. Two of them do well to encapsulate what Baker Mayfield does best, while the other two showcase where Mayfield still needs to improve.

A high variance passer

Mayfield has some notable issues with placement on his throws. Because he’s not regular with throwing mechanics and is a bit of a free wheeler from the pocket, his release point and weight distribution often influence his placement. Here, Mayfield is unbothered in the pocket and given the chance to throw cleanly from his platform.

Mayfield does well to hold the ball until the slant coming out of the slot is clear of the shallow linebacker; but he doesn’t put this ball accurately out in front of his target. The end result? The long, rangy Rasul Douglas is able to extend and influence the catch point and a turnover is registered.

Comfortable working off script

Mayfield’s touch on this ball down the field is excellent. But the important thing to note here is when he’s hit the top of his drop and pressure is closing in, Mayfield maintains eyes down the field as he steps up into the pocket.

The timing of the play is shot once he’s forced off of his platform but Mayfield transitions into a downfield passer quickly and does well to contort himself clean of an impending hit to get the ball out cleanly. This part of the position is something players either have or they don’t: making things happen once the play is off script is a gift and an art.

Pushing the ball with confidence needs work

This could have very easily been a touchdown. Mayfield’s receiver gets hip to hip with the defender early on in the rep before stacking him vertically, but Mayfield leaves too much air under the football and underthrows the target.

The interception was one of just a handful that Mayfield threw this past season but there are regular instances of too much air on vertical passes. The issue with these types of trajectories is defenders will be able to work back into favorable positions since the ball hangs in the air longer.

Big play mentality is always present

But when Mayfield gets his deep shots right, he’s got every bit of the arm needed to push it down the field.

This beauty against Kansas is a perfect example of a lot of the things you’ll read in Mayfield’s scouting report. Plus athletic ability. A killer instinct. Looks to make the big plays. Has the requisite arm strength.

As I mentioned earlier on: Mayfield is a high variance passer. There’s still too many poorly placed throws to ignore. But there’s plenty of good throws to get scouts optimistic about Baker Mayfield as a prospect entering the 2017 season.

Kyle Crabbs

Kyle Crabbs is the founder/Director of Scouting of NDT Scouting Services, a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the lead NFL Draft analyst for the FanRag Sports Network.

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