ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: TCU marks ‘great evaluation game’ for Baker Mayfield

There is not only a lot on the line for Oklahoma on Saturday against TCU, but also for quarterback Baker Mayfield.

A strong performance against the Horned Frogs could lock up the Heisman Trophy, but a poor performance would damage Mayfield’s campaign. Perhaps more important, Mayfield’s NFL future could be up in the air. ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said facing a defense such as TCU’s will give evaluators a better understanding of Mayfield’s game.

“It’s a great evaluation game,” Kiper said. “Why? Because TCU plays defense. Big 12, usually it’s basketball on turf. But Gary Patterson’s a defensive guy like Bill Belichick, Nick Saban. That’s his area of expertise. This TCU team can get after you.”

Mayfield, second in the nation in passing yards, leads Oklahoma’s top-ranked offense. The Horned Frogs are No. 6 in the FBS in allowed points and yards per game.  Many have been skeptical of Big 12 defenses, but TCU breaks that mold.

Kiper opines that Saturday’s game marks the beginning of truly learning where Mayfield fits into the NFL Draft.

Baker Mayfield has been extraordinary this year. … Projecting to the NFL, what you have to figure out over the next several weeks and during the evaluation process leading up to late April is will Baker Mayfield become Russell Wilson, or is he Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow, great college quarterbacks who run into resistance in the NFL? Is he somewhere in-between like Tyron Taylor. That all has be determined between now and later April, whether he’s a first- or second-round draft choice.

The winner of Saturday’s game remains alive for the College Football Playoff, while the loser will be outside. Mayfield has a chance to elevate his team and elevate himself.

The post ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: TCU marks ‘great evaluation game’ for Baker Mayfield appeared first on Diehards.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.