Reason No. 1 Baker Mayfield could fail: Poor Field Vision
The biggest and most consistent knock against Mayfield has been his field vision, often labeled as a one-read quarterback. This year his field vision mixed with indecision was easily his biggest issue leading to a lot of the struggles he had.
There were countless moments where he wouldn’t see open receivers on the field and either take a sack, run, or throw it elsewhere. He struggles to go through progressions when the first read isn’t open, especially if he is put under pressure.
Mayfield has shown the ability to make reads in the past but this past season he locked onto receivers far too long. By not seeing the field well, not being able to read the defense and diagnose where to go with the ball he also puts added stress on his offensive line to protect longer. If Mayfield can’t improve his progressions and his overall field vision he will not succeed.
Reason No. 2 Baker Mayfield could fail: Bad Footwork Habits
In 2021, the return of Baker Mayfield’s happy feet habit returned, which lead to a lot of the accuracy issues he had. During the struggles of 2019, often you would see Mayfield not set his feet and be bouncing around and throwing the ball high as a result.
These old habits returned, without his feet set he is unable to drive on the ball and be as accurate as he is capable of being. This habit was broken once before in 2020 by Kevin Stefanski and Alex Van Pelt but if he continues poor footwork going forward he will not be successful in 2022.
Reason No. 3 Baker Mayfield could fail: Trust Issues
This past season Mayfield’s weapons at the wide receiver position were not very good and his offensive line had numerous injuries. When Mayfield gets hit early and the rush gets to him often you can see him begin to bail the pocket too early, even when it is clean because he doesn’t trust his line.
Sometimes this also leads to him forcing throws to receivers when the throws aren’t there to be made. If his receivers miss a few passes or fail to make a play or two early he may also hold onto the ball longer not trusting his teammates to make the play.
This isn’t all Mayfield’s fault, getting better weapons and a healthier line will improve this, but if he cannot trust the players around him he could fail.