In ESPN Insider Mel Kiper's eyes, "Broadway Baker" will find his way to the Jets in his latest mock draft.
Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, has seen his draft stock significantly rise all season. After leading his Sooners team to the College Footbal Playoff with gutsy drives and precision passing all season long, Kiper thinks he is the starter -- and leader -- the Jets need under center.
"This is another team I expect to be in on Kirk Cousins, and the Jets have to add a quarterback this offseason. Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg aren't long-term answers. So why Mayfield over Josh Rosen here? It's close. Mayfield is one of the best leaders in this class, and there are still questions about Rosen's ability to galvanize a team. Rosen has a higher ceiling, but Mayfield is ready to start in the NFL right now. I like Rosen as a pure passer, but there are also concerns about his injury history -- he missed half of the 2016 season after having shoulder surgery. Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner, put up huge numbers for the Sooners and measured 6-0 at the Senior Bowl. If the Jets get Cousins, cornerback is their top need."
Getting Cousins appears to be the top priority for the Jets, but they can't land him in free agency, then they must have a fall-back option. And Mayfield is more than a fall-back option after posting 4,627 passing yards, a 70.5 completion percentage, and an insane 43/6 touchdown to interception ratio.
He has had off-the-field issues, including a public intoxication arrest back in Feb. 2017. However, Mayfield said he has owned up to it, and wants teams to understand that incident isn't who he truly is. Mayfield has already met with the Jets at the Senior Bowl, and could see another interview at the NFL Combine.
As Kiper mentions, if the Jets do land Cousins, cornerback is their main need. He previously had Alabama CB Minkah Fitzpatrick as the Jets' pick in his first mock draft.
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Over the next week or so, we should see dramatic changes in the stock of some of the top draft prospects. Baker Mayfield perhaps has more to lose than the other top quarterbacks, so he needs a great week at the combine. If he gets that and others don't, Mayfield might establish himself as a lock to go in the top five, in which case the Jets won't even get a chance to draft him without trading up.
However, if he rubs teams the wrong way in interviews or fails to stand out in drills, he might fall down the board.
Mayfield's 2017 film and his consistency of production are superior to every other quarterback prospect in this year's draft, but the questions surrounding his size and personality will persist. He, therefore, needs to ensure that he doesn't put a foot wrong in Indianapolis - on and off the field.
If he can manage that, then he could be a prime candidate to be selected by the Jets. That's if they haven't already addressed the position by signing a certain high-priced free agent, of course.