Is he another Ryan Leaf, or is he a Peyton Manning? Is he capable of taking care of business in the NFL? These are only a few of the many questions analysts, reporters, and various of other sports enthusiasts have about the most recent Heisman Trophy winner, Baker Mayfield. Robert Klemko writes about Baker Mayfield in “The Big Interview: Baker Mayfield”. Klemko gives facts about how Baker Mayfield will or won’t make a name for himself in the NFL. Baker Mayfield has proved himself before, but how will he do in the pros with some of the best players of all time?
Teammates and friends speak of the legend that is Baker Mayfield as though he were forged from alien metal and was sent to Earth. That’s how Robert Klemko explains what teammates and friends think of Baker and his talent in “The Big Interview: Baker Mayfield”. The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner throws like Favre, trash-talks like Shaq, and can dance like Bruno. As a 17-year-old, Baker didn’t have the offers he wanted. The two that he did have were from FAU(Florida Atlantic) and WSU(Washington State), and living in Texas didn’t really make the choice easy. Baker almost took the easy way out, and almost went to a school he didn’t want to go to. His dad didn’t want that for his son though, and made him take the walk on offer Texas Tech. Luckily, for Baker, his dad made the best decision for him at the time, or else he wouldn’t be the player he is today.
Although Baker is an amazing quarterback, he has never had another quarterback to look up to in college. Klemko states that a quarterback has never started over Baker in “The Big Interview: Baker Mayfield”. Baker really never has a had another quarterback start over him. The closest thing to being a backup for Baker, was him being injured or ineligible. During the Senior Bowl, Baker had the closest thing to a QB role model. Chad Pennington mentored prospects in Mobile, Alabama, during the Senior Bowl week. Pennington earned Mayfield’s respect through wise advice. Pennington helped Baker with how to talk to media and how to handle himself around reporters. He told Baker to respect every team who asks him questions, test his abilities, and see how well he is around a playbook.
As an example of these tests, Baker and every other quarterback have to take a football IQ test. Former bust, Ryan Leaf took the test and had a score of 27 out of 50. Peyton Manning took the same exact test and only made a 28, but he is one of the game’s greatest in the backfield.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, a current quarterback in the NFL who went to Harvard, made a 48 on the test and isn’t even that good. Baker had scored in the top 100 of all-time and 2nd in his class.
Before the Heisman and all the other awards, Baker was not looked at as a great high school quarterback. After realizing this, Baker had an Aha! moment. This was the birth of
Baker vs. the World. Baker’s mother, Gina, drove her son to an Elite 11 regional camp in Dallas run by former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer. Baker did everything that all the five or four star recruits were doing and better, but nobody really cared because Baker wasn’t the one they were looking at. This made Baker aware. That was the first and last Elite 11 camp Baker ever went to. Now Baker is the most confident and driven player coming out of college. He thinks that if anyone can turn around the 0-16 Cleveland Browns, it’s him.
After everything Baker has been through, he is now the number one draft pick in the draft, and the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. Mayfield has won two games for the Browns for the first time since 2015 when they had only three wins the whole season. As I said earlier, Baker Mayfield needs to be considered a threat to all other NFL teams. He is going to use adversity as his greatest weapon against everyone.