Baker Mayfield reiterated his desire to show what he’s all about after first practice for the 2018 Senior Bowl on Saturday.
The Oklahoma quarterback, who is projected by some to be a first-round pick at the 2018 NFL Draft in April, has plenty of talent and passion for the game, but also has some red flags he’s keen to mitigate.
While the 22-year-old seems unconcerned about a perceived lack of height and whether he actually measures 6-1, showing who he is and what he can do is the most important thing Mayfield hopes to get out of the game in Mobile, Alabama, where he’ll be coached by the Denver Broncos’ staff.
“Everyone wants to portray me as a bad guy — the Johnny Manziel stuff,” Mayfield said.
“I love the game of football, there’s no doubt about that. Emotional player. I’ll do everything it takes to win. I love being around my teammates, leadership and responsibility.
“I came down here to play the game and show I love playing it.”
With the Denver Broncos drafting at number five overall and in desperate need of a franchise quarterback, Mayfield is a top choice for many fans.
The Heisman Trophy winner backed up a superb 2016 season with the Sooners to post better numbers in 2017, and could ignite a Broncos offense that has struggled since 2014.
On the look out for someone to lead the team for the foreseeable future, the Broncos are in the best position to evaluate Mayfield after their request for him to be added to the North roster was granted.
Asked about that move after practice, Mayfield offered his take on what the Broncos are looking for from him this week.
“See what I’m all about, how I react to certain things,” he said. “Maybe see if I can handle the pressure and stuff like that.
“It’s an honor. If John Elway asks you to be on [his] team you don’t say no.”
But it isn’t just a one-way street. Mayfield also has some things he wants to take away from working with the Broncos coaches, including offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave.
“Just learning a lot,” he added. “Getting better as a player, learning stuff under center, and learning the game.
“There’s a lot to be said about throwing the ball, measurables, but mental knowledge that you can’t test until you’re out there with the system that’s what I’m hoping to take away.”
Whether Mayfield sees much — or any — game time in the Senior Bowl remains to be seen.
His mom’s illness delayed his arrival in Mobile, and the young quarterback was keen to point out that family comes first.
If nothing else other than practice reps, the Broncos coaches will have seen him behind the scenes, how he prepares, conducts himself in the meeting rooms.
That invaluable intel could go a long way to determining whether the Broncos request his services again.