Draft season is upon us, so I will be periodically watching film on some of the upcoming prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft. Typically, I choose players that I believe may fit the Buffalo Bills’ scheme, players on whom I have received some information, or just prospects that are interesting to me. Usually I will watch at least four games of a prospect before I come to final conclusions on their traits and will then assign a grade. During my film session I take copious, detailed notes, so I will try to share them with you in a manner that is digestible. These notes will not be final conclusions. Instead, they’re just pieces of information that I carry with me, and sometimes they will carry little weight in my final thoughts on a prospect. With that said, enjoy the process and here are my notes from:
QB Baker Mayfield vs. UTEP
- 95% completion percentage 19/20, 329 yards and 3 TDs
- Completed his first 16 passes
- Saw UTEP’s quarters coverage really well, dissected the defense over the middle and into the boundary
- Lots of play action and RPOs
- Quick trigger
- Able to throw off platform rather accurately. Carries out play fake, flicks the wrist and got it to tight end on the pop pass
- Decisive on triangle reads. Trips set into the boundary; a compressed area, uses shoulder fake, resets his feet and delivers to TE
- Exhibited good field vision and peripheral awareness as rusher comes free of the edge. Primary receiver was the tight end; he wasn’t open on schedule. Mayfield saw rusher coming from the field, gave defender a shoulder fake, which allowed Mayfield to extend the play outside of the pocket. Smart move, knowing he had 1-on-1 on the pivot route to the boundary. Releases the throw as the receiver breaks. It is eye level and as accurate a throw you will see from about 20 yards while on the run.
- Started reads/progressions to the proper side of the empty set. Defense showed man coverage to the two WR side, so Mayfield attempted to attack the corner route on the Smash concept. It was quickly shut down due to CB out-leveraging WR’s stem, so moved on to the trips route concepts. Moved in the pocket to his right, resets, nothing available, took the sack.
- Really good off of play action, shows good ball handling skills and a very good ability to QUICKLY set his feet and pull the trigger with a compact throwing motion. No wasted movement at all.
- Confidence in his arm. Isn’t afraid to throw into a tight window, into the boundary. Quick trigger throw, good placement up high over the underneath defender, upfield to keep it away from the corner who is trailing, and the perfect amount of velocity to get it to the receiver before he takes a hit from the split field safety.
Sure, it’s vs. UTEP, but the quick trigger, confidence, velocity and location were on point. Throw into the boundary, in the honey hole, over a defender, high and upfield so the CB couldn’t make a play in trail. pic.twitter.com/aoFhAcdDQ2
— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) December 7, 2017
- Command of the offense. Pre-snap, he sees the slot CB point out the tight end and the safety drop into the box, which appeared to show man coverage across the board and, more than likely, a single high look. Mayfield changes the play to a fade route from the slot tight end. Mayfield set the protection for the offensive line and running back and delivered from the 24-yard line, left hash to the slot tight end’s back shoulder five yards deep into the end zone for the touchdown. Very good touch and arc under the ball and ONLY his man was going to have a shot to catch it.
- Held the ball a little too long on a play action throw. Reading high-to-low, stuck with the low routes too long and decided to throw it deep last minute. The ball sailed and it allowed the DB to close and make a play on the ball. Ball was deflected and Oklahoma’s WR caught it for a 51 yard gain.
- Backup QB came in at halftime