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First Look: Scouting Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield

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John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports

Editor's note: NFL.com analyst and former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah takes a "first look" at college football's top players for 2017. This is the 14th in a series of scouting reports that will run throughout the offseason.

Bob Stoops shocked the football world when he decided to retire in June. While the timing was less than ideal for the Oklahoma program, Stoops did leave new head coach Lincoln Riley plenty of talent. The roster is littered with future NFL players, and they are led by one of the best playmaking signal-callers in the country, Baker Mayfield. I recently spent some time studying his game tape from the 2016 season. Here's my scouting report.

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Baker Mayfield, senior quarterback, Oklahoma


Height, weight: 6-foot-1, 220 pounds (school measurements)

2016 statistics: 254 of 358 (70.9 percent), 3,965 yards, 40 TDs, 8 INTs; 78 rushes for 177 yards (2.3 average), 6 TDs.

Game tape watched: Houston (Sept. 3, 2016), Ohio State (Sept. 17, 2016), Auburn (Jan. 2, 2017)

What I liked: Mayfield is a very difficult player to defend. His best trait is his ability to escape and extend plays. If his first and second reads are unavailable, he runs around behind the line of scrimmage, avoiding defenders and allowing his pass-catchers plenty of time to uncover. He has some nifty carries on occasion, but he usually scrambles to throw, not run. He has excellent touch on underneath throws (swings, bubble screens, shallow crossers, etc.) and his deep-ball touch is above average. He doesn't have a huge arm, but he flashes the ability to drive the ball. He is ultra competitive and he pops right up after taking some huge hits from opposing front-seven defenders.

Where he needs to improve: Mayfield has a long way to go before he's ready to man the position at the next level. His accuracy on drive throws is concerning and he needs to be more firm with his throwing base when inside the pocket. His feet get very busy and he doesn't establish a foundation to place the ball accurately at the intermediate level. I love his creativity, but there are times he passes up easy completions while hunting for the big play that's not there. He doesn't need to be so greedy; just take what's there and move on to the next down.

Biggest takeaway: After a few Houdini-like plays from Mayfield, I wrote down "Johnny Manziel 2.0" in my notebook. After studying a full 3 games, I felt like that wasn't a great comparison. Manziel was a little more dynamic than Mayfield as both a passer and runner. I know Manziel's NFL career didn't pan out (mostly because of off-field issues) but Manziel did possess a unique skill set. I think a better comparison for Mayfield is Colt McCoy coming out of college. I know OU fans won't appreciate this comparison, but I think they are similar athletes and possess similar arm talent. Both guys were big-time winners in college and I think Mayfield, like McCoy, will have a long NFL career as a solid No. 2 QB.

I can't wait to see him play ... Ohio State on Sept. 9. Oklahoma lost to a very talented Buckeye squad last year and now the Sooners must travel to Columbus to face them early in the upcoming season. The Buckeyes lost a lot of talent in the secondary but they return a ferocious front seven. This will be a tremendous challenge for Mayfield and his new head coach.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

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