Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson braced themselves for a long-anticipated flurry of questions at the NFL’s annual scouting combine.
Even practice might not have prepared them for Friday.
The two Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks found themselves repeatedly talking about their biggest perceived weaknesses – Mayfield’s size and brash personality and Jackson’s future at quarterback. All they need to do now is convince pro scouts they’re worthy of being first-round draft picks in April.
”I’m the most accurate quarterback in this draft for sure Authentic Blake Wheeler Jersey ,” said Mayfield, last year’s runaway Heisman winner. ”I’m ready to be a franchise guy.”
Perhaps he will be the guy who turns around a struggling franchise, regardless of venue.
After all, Mayfield does possess the gaudy numbers, a multitude of honors and the winning resume pro teams covet in a starting quarterback. Mayfield went 33-6 as Oklahoma’s starter.
What he lacks in size, standing a smidge over 6 feet, Mayfield makes up with a bold confidence and brash personality that ranks second to none.
The combination has occasionally led the blurring of lines between excitable celebration and unsportsmanlike conduct.
Those antics – the planting of the flag at Ohio State, the crotch-grabbing gesture at Kansas and the image of him running onto the field against Texas Tech, his former school, with a T-shirt reading ”traitor” – have some NFL executives wondering how it would resonate in a locker room full of grown men.
Mayfield insists, though, he can change his actions.
”I’m up front and honest, brutally honest,” he said. ”Some people don’t like that because it’s rare these days.”
But it’s not just the on-the-field incidents that worry some.
Mayfield also was involved an embarrassing run-in with law enforcement officers in Arkansas last offseason and endured the humiliation of being stripped of his captain’s title before his last home game at Oklahoma.
Teammates, however, have never wavered in their support.
”It’s just really a perception,” left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. said. ”He’s not the guy you think he is. He’s a captain. He’s a leader. He’s very focused, and he’s going to bring everyone together.”
Jackson finds himself in a vastly different situation.
Despite having equally impressive stats Bryan Little Jersey , his own Heisman trophy and playing in an efficient spread offense, the questions about Jackson and former Ohio State star J.T. Barrett are all about fit.
Both were dangerous throwing and running in college, and history suggests the dual-threat quarterbacks either don’t stick around long or stay healthy. Robert Griffin III and Tim Tebow are recent examples, which might explain reports suggesting Jackson will also work out with the receivers on Saturday.
Jackson repeatedly denied it.
”I thought I did a good job at quarterback (at Louisville). I did,” he said. I’m here at the combine to show my ability. It (the talk) is just more motivation and I’m going to show them how good I am.”
While Jackson has the numbers to prove his value at quarterback, Barrett’s numbers suggest something else.
The only three-time captain in Ohio State history played on two Big Ten title teams, a national champion and was chosen the conference quarterback of the year three times. But his inconsistency frustrated fans and have scouts asking questions about his accuracy – and whether he’s capable of being an NFL quarterback.
”I’m here to show 32 teams why they should draft me, and I think I can do that,” Barrett said.
Mayfield has the most to gain or lose here.
If he can sell teams on his personality and that he can play more in the mold of other short quarterbacks such as Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, Mayfield’s stock could soar and might push him into the top five or 10. If not, Mayfield could have a longer wait on draft day.
But nobody here believes more strongly in Mayfield than the Oklahoma quarterback. All you have to do is ask.
”I think if anyone is going to turn that franchise around, it would be me,” Mayfield said when asked about going to the Cleveland Browns, who have No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks in April.
As for the height question, Mayfield cited some success stories before finishing: ”If you want to see anything else, I’ve got three years of tape to prove it.”
Notes: More than a month after Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski committed suicide, the Cougars’ departing starter, Luke Falk Womens Connor Hellebuyck Jersey , acknowledged he’s still shaken by the event. ”It’s still just feels unreal. I know the guys up there are really doing a lot of team activities and trying to come together,” Falk said. ”But I don’t think we’ll ever get over it. It’s always going to be with us. Tyler is always going to be with us. Hopefully a lot of good comes from it. Tyler will always be a part of us.”
Tyler Mahle tossed one-run ball into the seventh inning and the Cincinnati Reds edged the Cubs 3-2 on Friday for their fifth straight victory over Chicago.
Adam Duvall and Scooter Gennett drove in runs as the Reds won for the 14th time in 18 games and ended the Cubs’ six-game winning streak. Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati’s No. 9 hitter, had three hits and leadoff man Jose Peraza had two.
Mahle (7-6) allowed five hits and struck out four over 6 2/3 innings to win his fourth straight decision. In his last seven starts, the 23-year-old right-hander has a 2.06 ERA.
Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati’s third reliever, got the final five outs for his 17th save in 20 chances.
Cubs starter Mike Montgomery (3-3) allowed three runs on six hits in five innings while walking two and hitting two batters.
TIGERS 3, RANGERS 1
DETROIT – Jordan Zimmermann denied Bartolo Colon’s bid at baseball history, striking out 11 batters in eight innings as Detroit beat Texas.
Colon (5-6) as trying to become the winningest Latin-American pitcher in major league history. He remains tied with Dennis Martinez with 245 career victories.
He pitched well, allowing three runs – including homers by James McCann and JaCoby Jones – in an eight-inning complete game, but Zimmermann (4-0) was better. The Tigers right-hander allowed one run and four hits and struck out 10 or more for the first time since his no-hitter for Washington against Florida on Sept. 28, 2014.
Joe Jimenez pitched the ninth for his third save, helping the Tigers end a three-game losing streak by winning for just the third time in 17 games.
BLUE JAYS 6, YANKEES 2
TORONTO – Justin Smoak hit a three-run homer, Yangervis Solarte reached base four times and Toronto beat New York.
Smoak connected in Toronto’s five-run second inning, when the Blue Jays batted around and put an early end to struggling right-hander Sonny Gray’s latest outing.
Solarte went 3 for 4 with a walk as the Blue Jays won for the 12th time in 16 home games.
Aaron Hicks homered and had two RBIs in the opener of New York’s 11-game road trip.
Gray (5-7) allowed five runs and six hits in two innings, his shortest start of the season and his third straight loss. Gray lasted just 2 1/3 innings in his previous start, matching a season worst by allowing six runs in an 11-0 loss to the division-leading Boston Red Sox.
Joe Biagni (1-5) pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief for his first win of 2018.
METS 5 Dmitry Kulikov Jersey , RAYS 1
NEW YORK – Jose Bautista’s grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted New York over Tampa Bay.
Todd Frazier walked and Devin Mesoraco singled to open the ninth against Chaz Roe (1-2) before Amed Rosario’s sacrifice advanced the runners. Roe then got pinch-hitter Dominic Smith on a comebacker and intentionally walked Brandon Nimmo to load the bases.
Bautista homered to left field on the first pitch he saw for his first career walk-off blast. It was his sixth homer of the season and gave the Mets their third win in their last 18 games at home.
Tampa Bay had a chance to take the lead in the top of the ninth against New York closer Jeurys Familia (4-4) but came up short.
Jacob deGrom was once again stellar for the Mets, allowing just one run and four hits while striking out eight and issuing one walk over eight innings.
INDIANS 10, ATHLETICS 4
CLEVELAND – Carlos Carrasco returned from the disabled list – and returned to the win column – as Jose Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion drove in three runs apiece, leading Cleveland to its fifth straight victory.
Carrasco (9-5) shook off two homers measuring over 900 combined feet in the first two innings and pitched into the sixth in his first start since being drilled on the right elbow by a line drive on June 16. He struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings and showed no rustiness despite the layoff.
Francisco Lindor stole home as the AL Central-leading Indians won their eighth straight home game. Cleveland is an MLB-best 56-21 at Progressive Field since the All-Star break last season.
Matt Olson and Dustin Fowler homered for the A’s, who lost for just the second time in 10 games since June 25. Paul Blackburn (2-3) took the loss after allowing six runs, five earned, in four innings.
NATIONALS 3, MARLINS 2
WASHINGTON – Pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a home run that lifted Washington past Miami.
Kyle Barraclough (0-3) fell behind Reynolds 3-0 and on 3-1 before the Nationals slugger sent a fastball into the visitor’s bullpen in left-center for his eighth home run.
Sean Doolittle (3-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win as Washington defeated Miami for the 13th consecutive game dating to last season.
Miami starter Dan Straily lasted six innings, allowing two runs on five hits.
Gio Gonzalez threw 114 pitches over five innings and gave up eight hits and four walks.
BREWERS 5, BRAVES 4
MILWAUKEE – Jesus Aguilar hit his 20th homer, rookie Freddy Peralta pitched six sharp innings and surging Milwaukee held off Atlanta.
Tyler Saladino also homered for the Brewers, who have won five straight to extend their NL Central lead to 2 1/2 games over the second-place Cubs.
After Peralta (4-1) departed, Atlanta rallied for three runs in the seventh off Jacob Barnes. But the Braves‘ rally faltered when they failed to score with two on and no out after Dan Jennings replaced Barnes, and then left two on with one out in the eighth against Jeremy Jeffress.
Corey Knebel worked around a one-out single in the ninth for his 11th save. Atlanta has lost a season-h