With the NFL Draft approaching in the next couple months, there has been a lot of comparisons made between two certain quarterbacks: Johnny Manziel and Baker Mayfield. In this article, I’m going to present the similarities and differences between the two QB’s, and tell you why they are two very different players.
If you’re wondering what gives me the right to compare the two, let me tell you.
I’m a Longhorn. I’ve been a Longhorn since birth. I’m a freshman at UT now, and when it comes to football I know two things for sure. 1. OU sucks, and 2. it’s Goodbye to A&M. In that case, I’m writing this from what I have witnessed with my own eyes, researched and heard about both of these two quarterbacks.
First, I’ll go into some background about the two.
Johnny Manziel played two years at Texas A&M before being drafted with the 22nd pick in the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He led A&M to a 20-6 career record, a Cotton Bowl and a Chick-Fil-A Bowl win. He played two years with the Browns until his very public downward spiral of drugs and alcohol addiction sent him from the field into rehab.
Baker Mayfield began his career as a walk-on quarterback at Texas Tech before transferring to Oklahoma to finish his college career as a Sooner. He finished with a 34-6 career record and led Oklahoma to its first College Football Playoff birth and in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, Mayfield is projected to be a top 1st Round Pick.
Now lets dive into their similarities and differences.
Here is how the two are similar:
Coming out of high school both Manziel and Mayfield were listed as 3-Star recruits by 247Sports.com. As we’ve all seen before, recruiting rank does not mean define a player as both went on to be AP Player of the Year, All-American Honors, Davey O’Brien Award winners, Offensive Player of the Year in their respective conferences, and of course, winners of the Heisman Memorial Trophy.
On and off the field, both players have had their share of disruptive behavior.
Before his first collegiate game on June 29, 2012, Manziel was arrested and charged with three misdemeanors. Disorderly conduct, failure to produce identification and having a fake driver’s license. Along with this “instance”, it’s also known that he left the Manning Passing Academy early, a place where top high school QB’s come and showcase their talents, allegedly due to him oversleeping and missing part of the course.
During the 2017 offseason, Mayfield was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, fleeing and resisting arrest and public intoxication.
Mayfield has had less trouble off the field than Manziel, but on the field, some critics question his antics from this past season. On the road facing Ohio State in the second game of the year, Mayfield planted the Oklahoma flag at midfield of Buckeye Stadium after defeating Ohio State 31-16. Then, later in the season against Kansas, Mayfield grabbed his nuts and was caught shouting swear words at the Jayhawk sideline.
Now here’s how these two guys differentiate themselves from one another:
In college, their styles of play were very different and regardless of their size comparisons, they are not the same.
Manziel was more reliant on his running abilities. He had star receiver Mike Evans (ever heard of him?) as his number one threat down the field. Throw the ball up to him and it’s caught. I remember watching a game against Alabama where Manziel scrambled all around the line of scrimmage finally heaving it up to Evans for a 50-something yard completion. THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN IN THE NFL. Johnny may have been a good enough athlete in college, but plays like that don’t happen in the NFL. They just don’t.
Johnny didn’t become “Johnny Heisman” by throwing the ball. His namesake came from dynamic running ability. In his TWO years at A&M, he ran for 2,169 yards and 30 touchdowns. Compared to Mayfield’s 893 yards and 18 TD’s in his THREE years at Oklahoma.
Mayfield relied on his gunslingin’ strong arm to lead him in his success. Don’t get me wrong, he could still make plays with his feet, but he’s the better passer. At Oklahoma, Mayfield passed for 12,292 yards, 119 touchdowns with only 21 interceptions. Let that sink in a little. The man can throw the rock. Manziel threw for basically half that, with 7,820 yards, 63 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Mayfield threw for almost twice as many yards and touchdowns, and did it with less interceptions in three years, than Manziel did in two.
Now you’re probably wondering what do I think.
Honestly, when people say Baker Mayfield and Johnny Manziel are the same, I don’t buy it. Not one bit. Sure, they both have gotten into trouble, but when you look at what kind of players they are, it’s not even close. In my opinion Mayfield has shaped himself into a good mix of the new Pro-Style quarterback. The game is changing and more Russell Wilson type QB’s are emerging left and right. The league has changed from ground-and-pound, to pass-first and RPO. Mayfield is a baller. He’s a flat out competitor. That’s why he talks smack and does all his gestures. He just loves winning and I respect the hell out of that.
To all the NFL GM’s out there, don’t buy into the Manziel-Mayfield comparison. When given the opportunity, Baker Mayfield will take your organization to the next level.