Fact: The Buffalo Bills have been searching for a franchise quarterback since Jim Kelly retired at the end of the 1996-97 NFL season. During this time frame, fans have had no other chance than to misguidedly root for the likes of Todd Collins, Rob Johnson, Billy Joe Hobert, J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards…you get the point. A steady stream of mediocrity at the position has been the norm in Buffalo. The time has come to finally change that. Said change will come in the form of drafting Oklahoma quarterback, Baker Mayfield. No offense to the recently acquired A.J. McCarron.
Why Baker Mayfield to the Buffalo Bills Makes Sense
General manager Brandon Beane is more than aware of the gaping vacancy that has been residing under center in Western New York for the last 20 plus years. Fortunate for Bills fans, Beane, unlike his predecessors, is actively looking to address this pivotal deficiency on the team’s roster. In mid-Jan., Beane had the following to say in an interview with WGR 550 AM:
“It’s a quarterback league, and until you know you have the guy that you’re definitely going to build this team around and the offense around, you’re constantly searching. The teams that make the runs in the playoffs consistently have a franchise guy that they lean on year in and year out. We’re still in the process of getting that accomplished.”
With the 2018 NFL Draft less than a mere three weeks away, the Bills have ostensibly been linked to every first and second round graded quarterback under the sun. This includes private visits scheduled with the likes of Josh Rosen, Mason Rudolph, as well as the man of the hour, Mr. Mayfield.
Mayfield Visiting Buffalo
As per Mike Jones of USA Today, Mayfield is scheduled to meet with Bills brass on April 10th and 11th:
After spending today and part of tomorrow visiting w the #Browns, Baker Mayfield has the following pre-draft visits scheduled: #Giants: April 8-9 #Jets: April 9-10#Bills: April 10-11 #Dolphins: April 11-12#Broncos: April 16-17 #Cardinals: April 17-18
— Mike Jones (@ByMikeJones) April 3, 2018
The meeting will allow Beane along with owners Terry and Kim Pegula as well as head coach Sean McDermott to get acquainted with the 22-year old. More importantly, it will help the the brain trust determine if the ex-Sooner can integrate into the organization’s much bandied about “process”.
Something tells me that Mayfield will do just fine, given his body of work and confluence of sought-after assets.
Yes, Mayfield is only 6’1″. He was an unprecedented two-time College walk-on. He is confident, teetering on cocky. No, he is not the prototype, in the mold of an Andrew Luck. The fact of the matter is that Mayfield is a highly motivated, incredibly talented, mentally robust, winner.
Another Heisman Winner Drafted by Buffalo?
Elephant in the room. The only Heisman trophy winner ever to have been drafted by the Bills was none of than O.J. Simpson. Ok, try to wipe that from your brain and let us focus on the topic at hand.
Mayfield was nothing short of spectacular after taking a stranglehold of the quarterback position in Norman, OK. In his first two seasons, he threw an absurd 76 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, while leading his Sooner squad to back-to-back 11-win, Big-12 Conference Championship seasons. This culminated in Mayfield being a Heisman trophy finalist in 2016, finishing third to winner and co-projected first-round pick, Lamar Jackson.
Third was simply not good enough for Mayfield. Somehow the Austin, TX native further augmented his numbers in 2017, to the tune of 43 touchdowns, six interceptions, and a Madden-like 70 percent completion rate. These ungodly numbers landed his Sooner team in the College Football Playoff and Mayfield the well deserving recipient of the Heisman Trophy, in a landslide, nonetheless.
In full disclosure, winning the Heisman does not always equate to NFL success. Throughout the award’s history, the likes of Tim Tebow, Robert Griffin III, Matt Leinart, Andre Ware etc. were all Heisman winners who accomplished next to nothing in the NFL. Mayfield is, unequivocally, different.
Mayfield has Tools for Days
Mayfield has a toolkit that is difficult to match. First and foremost, he is the draft’s most accurate passer, and he sure as heck is not afraid to tell you about it:
Baker Mayfield: "I'm the most accurate quarterback in this draft by far."#NFLCombine2018
— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) March 2, 2018
He has a gunslinger mentality and possesses the highly coveted ability to thread the ball into tight windows. Ask Bills fans the last time they had a quarterback who was able to do that on a regular basis. Sorry, Tyrod Taylor.
His mobility (ran a 4.84 40-yard dash) and escapability allow him to extend plays under duress – while barely putting a dent into his obscene completion percentages. Although he does not own the cannon of Josh Allen nor the natural throwing ability of Rosen, he is capable of making all of the throws and excels when doing so on the run.
What might be most impressive about Mayfield are his advanced stats. As per SB Nation’s, Bill Connelly, Mayfield has the best chance of becoming a great NFL quarterback among this year’s draft class based on his college numbers and resulting “success rate:”
- Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (54.8 percent)
- Sam Darnold, USC (52.0 percent)
- Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State (50.0 percent)
- Logan Woodside, Toledo (49.5 percent)
For those non-analytics geeks, success rate is a measure of efficiency by determining whether every play of a given game was successful or not (the terms: 50 percent of necessary yardage on first down, 70 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third and fourth down). What was Mayfield’s NFL comparison based on these stats? None other than Russell Wilson. Not too shabby.
Baker Also Has SWAG
Last, and certainly not least, Mayfield has undeniable swag – i.e. extreme confidence (for those non-millennials). Buffalo is a blue-collar city that embraces their football team like no other in the league. With that in mind, on paper, a “bring your lunch pail” type of quarterback would seemingly make sense for the city. Unfortunately, the team has employed such players in the last two decades, and, suffice it to say, this approach has failed miserably.
The time has come to bring in someone who is not afraid to step on toes and speak his mind. Bills Mafia stands for passion and being yourself, as opposed to sticking to a script and placating. Mayfield brings the leadership and hunger that can propel this team into a new stratosphere. It is prudent to go out and get him.
How to Secure Mayfield’s Services
As it currently stands, the Bills are in the advantageous predicament of holding two first-round picks (12, 21), two second-round picks (53, 56), two third-round picks (65, 96), as well as individual selections in the fourth (121), fifth (167) and sixth (187) rounds.
Unless Mayfield suffers an unfortunate hoodwinking to hurt his draft stock, a la Laremy Tunsil, the Bills will need to utilize some of their draft capital to get into the top-six. Their most realistic trading partners being the New York Giants (second), Cleveland Browns (four) and Indianapolis Colts (six). According to Walter Football’s draft chart, Beane would need to dish out the team’s two first rounders, along with an additional pick (or two) to get into that “sweet spot”.
Bills’ Other Needs Take a Backseat
Although the team does have holes at wide receiver, nickel corner, middle linebacker as well as interior offensive and defensive lines, strength in those (or any) positions are futile without possessing a game-changing quarterback.
The Buffalo Bills need Baker Mayfield.
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