NORMAN, Okla. -- Some people might have discounted Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield's 598-yard performance last week against Oklahoma State because of the poor defense played by the Cowboys.
Well, if anyone wasn't on the Mayfield bandwagon after that game, they should hop aboard now.
On Saturday, Mayfield torched one of the top defenses in the country, throwing for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Sooners' 38-20 win over TCU.
This was the first time I scouted Mayfield in person, and I left the game thinking he's worthy of a first-round pick. Now, there are still plenty of players I need to study and we don't know which underclassmen will end up entering the draft, so my opinion could change down the road, but Mayfield looked like an NFL starter Saturday night.
I don't have the reservations that others do when it comes to Mayfield's lack of height, the offense he plays in and the lack of defense in the Big 12 conference. The traits speak for themselves, and Mayfield has some special qualities.
Here are my 5 takeaways after watching Mayfield live on Saturday.
1. He is the energizer bunny. Mayfield was one of the first players on the field during pre-game warmups, but he wasn't throwing -- he was catching. He ran routes and caught balls in the end zone for about 15-20 minutes (I was told he does this routine before every game). He was bouncing around, giving high-fives to teammates and fans in between impressive one-handed grabs. He exudes energy and it's contagious with his teammates. His personality reminds me a little bit of Brett Favre. You can tell he's having a blast on the field.
2. He's built to last. It's tough to gauge a player's body type without seeing him live, in person. Scouts told me that Mayfield currently weighs around 210 pounds. He carries his weight well. He has a thick, muscular lower half and his build is very similar to Russell Wilson's frame. He took some big hits in this game and he always popped right back up. He will have to tame a little bit of his recklessness as a runner, but that can be taught.
3. Mayfield has plenty of arm strength. It's always important for scouts to see a QB throw in person because the game tape doesn't always do justice to a player's arm talent. I thought Mayfield's arm strength had improved from last season to this season, based on my tape study. That opinion was shared by a few of the scouts in attendance on Saturday night. After watching him on the field during warmups, you can tell the ball jumps out of his hand and he can drive it easily. He uncorked a couple pretty deep balls tonight, as well.
4. He's ultra competitive. You can easily identify Mayfield's competitive nature by the way he plays the game. I love his emotion and passion both on the field and on the sideline. I spoke with a couple scouts at the game and they said he's like that everyday in practice. It's not an act. Coaches have told scouts that he has a passion for preparation as well. He puts in the time and it shows.
5. He still has some areas to clean up. While I see massive improvement in Mayfield's pocket movement and decision-making, he still has some room to grow when it comes to his footwork. He has the ability to throw from a variety of platforms, but when the pocket is clean, he will occasionally fall off or fade away unnecessarily. This has an impact on his ball placement. It's not a huge problem, but it's something he can work on in the final few games of his college career.