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NORMAN, Okla. — After his final public workout during Oklahoma‘s pro day, quarterback Baker Mayfield said Wednesday that he feels like he has put himself “in a good spot to be considered the best quarterback in the draft.”
“It’s kind of interesting to think, before the season, people had me at a third- or fourth-round grade,” Mayfield said. “But now, it’s improved a little bit.”
Satisfied with his showing at the NFL combine, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner elected not to run, jump or lift. Instead, he only went through passing drills for roughly a half-hour, throwing to former Oklahoma teammates. Mayfield said he wanted to show that he could “make all the throws.”
“I felt at the combine, there were a couple of deep balls I left short,” he said. “I think today I made that correction.”
The first day of free agency didn’t stop several big NFL names from traveling to Norman. That included Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan and Denver Broncos general manager John Elway. Mayfield confessed it was especially “surreal” to pass in front of Elway.
Mayfield met with officials from the Los Angeles Chargers on Tuesday and was scheduled to meet with the New York Giants later Wednesday. Mayfield also initially had a meeting scheduled with the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday that the team canceled with hopes of rescheduling.
“No matter the height question, people question the character, but I think all these meetings have been great for me,” said Mayfield, who measured only 6-foot, 5/8 inch at the combine and has had to answer questions about his public intoxication arrest last offseason and on-field antics that at one point prevented him from starting his final home game at Oklahoma. “It’s an interesting process. People trying to evaluate your game, trying to find your flaws. But you only get to do it once. You’ve got to enjoy it. … You’ve got to be yourself, that’s the most important thing. You’ve got to be able to talk ball. You’ve got to be able to handle the outside noise and relax and do your thing.
“I think I’ve put myself in a good spot.”
Mayfield is slated to remain in Norman so that he can continue to meet with teams until NFL league meetings begin March 25. Mayfield also has two camps he’s putting on for kids in the Oklahoma City area later this week. The Broncos, Dolphins, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints and Buffalo Bills are among the teams that are either planning to meet with Mayfield in Norman or looking to fly him to their facilities, or both.
“I have a good feel on which teams like me and which teams aren’t as interested, but you never know how free agency is going to hit,” Mayfield said. “I’m sure there’s been stuff that’s happened since I’ve been working out today, so all I can do is focus on myself.”
During the combine, Mayfield turned heads when he declared that if anyone could turn the Browns around, it would be him. Wednesday, he said he remains intrigued by the idea of going to a rebuilding franchise, though he added that he would be comfortable going to a winning one as well.
“I’d like either one,” he said. “You can look at it like coming here [Oklahoma], a winning tradition — it would be like going to a franchise with a winning tradition. So I’d know exactly how to work and do all that.
“But then at the same time, if I went to a franchise that hasn’t done well recently, I’d love to be the one to turn it around if I get the chance to do so.”
Even though he stands to be the first Sooner taken in the first round since 2013, Mayfield reiterated that he won’t be attending the NFL draft at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 26. Instead, Mayfield is planning to watch the draft from his hometown in Austin, Texas.
“I’d rather spend time with my family,” he said. “People helped me get there. It was never a one-man show. So I’ll have friends and family and coaches, and I’ll get to enjoy it with them.”