Even Baker Mayfield deep down had to be somewhat surprised that he was selected first overall two weeks ago in the NFL Draft. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner, who began his career as a lowly walk-on at Texas Tech under head coach Kliff Kingsbury before transferring to Oklahoma after losing his starting job, has always battled the odds and expectations. That he was drafted first by the Cleveland Browns is a triumph of will and determination. This is Baker Mayfield’s story.
Full Name: Baker Reagan Mayfield
Birthdate: April 14, 1995
Birth Place: Austin, Texas
Team: Cleveland Browns / NFL
High School Career
For two seasons, Mayfield was the starting Quarterback at Lake Travis High School in Austin. He put up monster stats in those couple of years, throwing for 6,197 yards and 69 touchdowns — very nice — and running for 11 more. Despite his proficiency, Mayfield was only a three-star recruit who garnered very little interest from major schools, only earning scholarship offers to Florida Atlantic, New Mexico, and Rice.
Disappointed but not despondent, Mayfield decided to walk on at Texas Tech.
Mayfield is widely believed to be the first walk-on, true freshman quarterback to open the season as a starter in major college football. However, he would lose his starting job after a season-ending injury during Texas Tech’s second game of the 2013 season, earning it back sparingly at the end of the year.
Baker would transfer to Oklahoma after being frustrated by the prospects of a quarterback competition at Texas Tech going into 2014. Due to his transfer, Mayfield would sit out a season before he finally took the reigns of the Oklahoma offense in 2015. From his first start against Akron all the way until his last in the 2018 College Football playoff against Georgia, Mayfield dominated college football. He would be top-5 in Heisman voting three times, winning it last season during his senior year. He made two playoffs, once in 2015/16 and another in 2017/18, falling to Clemson and Georgia respectively. Mayfield graduated Oklahoma as one of the great Quarterbacks in Big 12 history, made all the more remarkable by the fact that he began as a mere walk-on at Texas Tech.
Going into the 2017 College Football season, it was not well known where Mayfield would land in April’s draft. As the season went on, though, and he became the Heisman frontrunner and Oklahoma became a National Championship contender with him, Baker climbed up draft boards. By the time the season ended, it was expected that Mayfield would at least be a first round pick, maybe more. Even so, it was expected that Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold would go ahead of him, and possibly Josh Allen. Instead, the Cleveland Browns selected Mayfield ahead of them all. There will be a tremendous weight on Mayfield’s shoulders on the Browns, but given how he has handled all else, it is a good bet that he will succeed.