The Los Angeles Rams claimed former first-overall pick, Baker Mayfield, off waivers Tuesday. On Thursday night, there’s a chance that Sean McVay and Co. will throw him straight into the fire due to John Wolford’s injury. But what can we expect from a QB who got to town two days prior and was completely underwhelming in a similarly poor situation in Carolina?
What To Expect From Baker Mayfield
Things were a disaster in Carolina. In fact, Mayfield was arguably the worst starting QB in the NFL during his time with the Panthers. Here’s how he ranked among the 32 QBs with at least 200 attempts this season, according to Sports Info Solutions.
- Positive EPA rate: 32/32
- Points Above Replacement: 32/32
- Wins Above Replacement: 32/32
- Completion rate: 32/32
- Catchable rate: 26/32
- On-target rate: 28/32
- ANY/A: 30/32
- ADOT: 27/32
- Pressure rate: 16/32
You get the picture. Mayfields’ situation in Carolina was terrible, but his current setup in Los Angeles is far worse.
The Panthers’ offensive line is far better than the Rams, and Los Angeles is throwing out Ben Skowronek, Van Jefferson, Brandon Powell, and Tutu Atwell at WR. Things are ugly for McVay and the Rams.
In Layman’s terms, it will be a bloodbath if Mayfield is forced into action, even against a bottom-five defense in Las Vegas.
What Went Wrong for Mayfield
Mayfield has always flown a bit by the seat of his pants. The thing is, for a while, he was able to get away with his mechanical inconsistencies. He had an above-average arm from multiple platforms, and his ability to escape pressure was ninja-esque at times.
However, the shoulder injury Mayfield sustained in 2021 turned his mechanical inconsistencies into all-out mechanical flaws affecting his accuracy and ball placement. In essence, being a warrior and playing through the pain potentially ruined Mayfield’s career.
MORE: QB Power Rankings 2022
Mayfield didn’t have surgery on his non-throwing shoulder until mid-January. Although he was back throwing by the end of March, he needed an entire offseason grinding his lower body mechanics down to the bone and rebuilt entirely. He wasn’t afforded that opportunity because of the rehab.
Mayfield’s career isn’t over. He’ll have an offseason to work with Jeff Christiansen on mechanical improvements before 2023. And while he’ll most likely never be a mechanically streamlined quarterback, we’ve witnessed Mayfield be effective as an NFL QB.
The Hope of the Past
Mayfield was never a candidate for top-10 consideration, but before 2021, he was a viable starting option, leading the Browns to their first playoff win since 1999 — a season before things fell apart.
Mayfield ranked closer to the middle of the pack in most efficiency metrics listed from the second section above, and a team without their future at the position could look to him as a stop-gap in 2023 with the hope that he progresses mechanically.
But it would be a complete and utter shock to see Mayfield play decently at all in 2022, even if he was going to a far better situation than the one he finds himself in with the Rams.