Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield has proven capable of mixing skillsets other quarterbacks can’t.
He’ll scramble around, maniacally looking for a way to make something out of nothing. He’ll sit in the pocket and deliver beautiful strikes to his receivers. Despite his wildness, Mayfield is college football’s most efficient and effective quarterback. And in that way, he stands alone.
FOX Sports analyst Joel Klatt has taken notice, telling The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgore that Mayfield is the blend of two varieties of quarterback.
“Usually, you’re either a gunslinger or you’re efficient,” Klatt said. “For some reason, this kid has married the two together in a way that is really unique.”
Mayfield’s play has backed up Klatt’s statement. He has led the Sooners to top of college football in total offense while he has individually risen to second in the nation in passing yards. That’s much the result of posting nearly 600 yards in Oklahoma’s Bedlam victory. Klatt was on the call for the game on FOX.
But despite his lofty passing numbers, Mayfield has remained efficient. After setting a single-season record for pass efficiency a year, he’s on pace to break that this year. He’s the nation’s leader in completion percentage while being one of only two players with at least 25 touchdown passes and no more than 5 interceptions.
Mayfield’s success has made him the favorite for the Heisman Trophy. But it’s also shot him up NFL Draft boards. Mayfield has received comparisons to Hall of Fame member Brett Favre and Seattle Seahawks quarterback and Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson. Mayfield’s blend of traits prompts Klatt to agree.
“I could see those type of guys falling in love with Baker, and those guys spent time around Favre,” Klatt told Kilgore. “They seek Baker’s ability to improvise and play with unnatural confidence, and they see Favre. … I love the Russell Wilson comparison.”
Mayfield’s controlled wildness has not only prompted his rise, but also that of the Sooners. Oklahoma is fifth in the College Football Playoff rankings, and a victory Saturday over No. 6 TCU could thrust the Sooners into the top four.
If Oklahoma makes it into the playoff, it will be because Mayfield continues to be an efficient gunslinger, a title few can hold.
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