State Scouting Report: Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield went from a likely backup to a college prospect over the course of his junior season.

At this point last year, Mayfield was one of four Lake Travis quarterbacks competing for the starting job. After it was narrowed to Mayfield and SMU commitment Collin LaGasse, the duo fought through 7-on-7, with LaGasse narrowly claiming the job. But LaGasse suffered an injury that allowed Mayfield to emerge as the Cavalier quarterback of the present, and future. Now, Mayfield's numbers — and the fact that he helped to lead Lake Travis to its fifth-straight state title — have colleges taking a longer look.

On the hoof, Mayfield isn't necessarily going to wow you. He's right around 6-feet and lacks great speed. But it's when he throws the ball that he really shines. Against an athletic Waco Midway squad, Mayfield didn't have his best game of the season, but was still awfully effective at times. He has a good, but not great, arm, but it's his sense of timing, his spiral and his accuracy that stands out. He made several deep out-type throws on the sideline, and put the ball where it needed to be with the requisite velocity. His best throw might be a corner route, where he can showcase not just his arm, but his accuracy in dropping the ball over the top.

But still, my favorite play of the game was arguably his worst throw, from a technical perspective. Flushed from the pocket, Mayfield escaped and lobbed a jump ball for tight end Griffin Gilbert, which Gilbert pulled down for a Cavalier touchdown. The throw itself wasn't pretty, but Mayfield showed a number of great traits on that one play. First, that he was able to feel the pressure and escape it. Second, that while being chased, he kept his eyes downfield. Third, he was able to size up that he had a taller receiver on a shorter defensive back, a matchup worth testing. And fourth, Mayfield threw an accurate pass that his player had the best chance to win.

2013 is an awfully strong year in terms of state of Texas quarterbacking talent, which means that Mayfield could fall through the cracks a bit, despite his production matching up well with any of those signal callers rated ahead of him. But he's the type of player who might end up throwing for 3,000-plus at a school like Houston (where Mayfield's dad played) three years down the road.


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