Denver Broncos: Let’s draft Baker Mayfield

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Baker Mayfield
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: Baker Mayfield /

Let’s take a look at Baker Mayfield, quarterback from Oklahoma, to see how he could potentially make an impact for the Denver Broncos offense.

The 2018 NFL Draft is stacked with talent at the quarterback position. There’s a good chance that five quarterbacks could get selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. This is exciting times for the Denver Broncos, considering they have the fifth pick in the draft and quarterback is their biggest position of need.

Baker Mayfield is one of the most polarizing players in college football. He had a storied career at Oklahoma where he eventually developed into one of the best quarterbacks in college football. Mayfield has the potential to be drafted within the top ten picks of this year’s draft. Many mock drafts have him being selected in the 12-15 range, but the draft is still four months away and a lot can happen between now and draft day.

 Mayfield, who was rated as a three-star recruit by many recruiting sites out of high school, was ranked 42nd amongst pro-style quarterbacks in his recruiting class by 247Sports. He started his collegiate career walking on at Texas Tech.

His road to being a successful college quarterback was much different compared to most quarterback prospects. He quickly earned his spot on Texas Tech’s roster as a walk on and eventually won the starting quarterback job as a freshman over Davis Webb after sophomore quarterback, Michael Brewer, suffered an injury before the season started. As a freshman, Mayfield passed for 2,315 yards, 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions in eight games. His best game came against SMU when he passed for 413 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 16 yards and one touchdown.

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At the end of his freshman season in 2013, Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma. Due to him transferring schools, he had to sit out an entire season before he could play for the Sooners. His 2014 season technically counted as a redshirt year. Even with the lost year, he still had three more seasons of eligibility.

Mayfield didn’t waste anytime at Oklahoma as he broke out during his first season with the team, passing for 3,700 yards, 36 touchdowns and seven interceptions. That season, he surpassed 300 yards passing in six games and tossed multiple touchdown passes in 11 games. Mayfield finished the season ranked 18th in the country in passing yards and sixth in the nation in passing touchdowns.

The following year he improved almost all of his statistics by passing for 3,965 yards, 40 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His best game came against Texas Tech where he passed for 545 yards and seven touchdowns. He led the Sooners to the Sugar Bowl where they defeated the Auburn Tigers 35-19.

Mayfield saved his best for his senior season, passing for 4,627 yards, 43 touchdowns and six interceptions. His best game of the season came against Oklahoma State where he passed for 598 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. He led his team to the Rose Bowl which was a College Football Championship Game where they lost to the Georgia Bulldogs, 54-48.

Unless things change, he should definitely be there when the Broncos make their first-round selection. Drafting him with the fifth overall pick might be a reach, but it’s something the team might consider due to their immense need at quarterback.

Denver might be the perfect destination for Mayfield. He has the arm to be able to distribute the football to his receivers and the accuracy to fit the football in tight windows. He’s not afraid to throw the ball into tight coverage which means he will be able to get the ball to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders on the underneath routes. Mayfield also does a very good job at climbing the pocket while avoiding the opposing team’s pass rush. His ability to maneuver in the pocket gives him a few extra seconds to complete his passes while under duress.

The Broncos need new blood at quarterback in the worst way. Denver’s quarterbacks completed just 58.7 percent of their passes while tossing for 3,668 yards, 19 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. If the Broncos can’t find a reliable passer in free agency then they will need to get a quarterback in the draft. Denver could see another lost season if they can’t figure out how to upgrade the quarterback position.

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There will more than likely be better options on the board at other positions when it’s Denver’s turn to pick in the first-round. The need at quarterback might take precedent over best player available. However, the team should think long and hard before using their first-round selection on a quarterback if there’s a guaranteed stud at another position available.

If Denver doesn’t land a quarterback in free agency and don’t move up in the draft to get one of the top quarterbacks in the draft, then there’s a chance that Mayfield could be the team’s first-round selection in 2018.