"Broadway Baker" has a nice ring to top prospect QB Baker Mayfield.
The 2017 Heisman Trophy Award winner sat down with The Post's Steve Serby to talk about the prospect of playing in the Big Apple, and if he has what it takes to succeed in a market that isn't friendly to anyone.
Simply put: Mayfield loves the spotlight.
"I think I thrive under the spotlight, I live for a big moment," Mayfield said. "Honestly, it doesn't get much bigger than being in New York. It's a big stage, it's a lot of criticism and a lot of expectations, but I love having high expectations. I'm the type of guy. I rise to the occasion, so setting the bar high for me has always been the fundamental thing, setting my expectations at the highest point and so I think it goes hand-in-hand with being in New York."
Mayfield's draft stock has rose significantly since the beginning of his best collegiate season in 2017. The numbers speak for themselves: 4,627 passing yards, 70.5 completion percentage, and an insane 43/6 touchdown-interception ratio. He led his Oklahoma squad to the College Football Playoff, but unfortunately lost to Georgia in overtime.
But his college days are officially over, and now his next priority is impressive teams like the Giants and Jets, who he has been linked to through mock drafts. So, he must face the obvious question by those teams and many others at the NFL Combine in just a couple weeks: Why draft Baker Mayfield?
"You should draft me because I'm a winner," he said. "I make my teammates play harder. I set the bar high, and I'll do anything, whatever it takes to win. I care more about this game than most people ever will. When you mix a lot of those things with a winning mentality, it's a good thing to have as a franchise quarterback."
With that mentality, Mayfield is confident he is the best quarterback in a class that features other Top-10 hopefuls in USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, and Wyoming's Josh Allen.
"I am. I believe I am," Mayfield said. "That's not any disrespect to the other guys. I've always had confidence, and I think I'm more than capable of doing everything and more."
But many are down on the 22-year-old for his physical stature despite the numbers. At a notch under 6-foot-1, Mayfield doesn't have the prototypical height of a quarterback one would take early in the first round, and despite Russell Wilson and Drew Brees succeeding with that height in the NFL, scouts can't see Mayfield living up to their potential.
It is that assumption, though, that ticks him off the most.
"It angers me when people say that height actually matters because there's guys in the NFL that prove it day in and day out that it doesn't," he said. "If you can pick up and throw a ball, you can. And if you can win games, you can. So a lot of that stuff that people used to think mattered a lot, those measurable don't exactly anymore. It's about winning games and getting your teammates to play hard.
Mayfield also isn't fond on people assuming he is cocky because he has had an easy walk through his early career. It is the exact opposite.
"People want to put an image on me that they obviously don't know me. If you never sat down to have a conversation with me, then you probably don't understand why I'm so competitive, why I do the things I do. I always had a chip on my shoulder because I've had to earn everything. If you think me being cocky is because I've been handed things that I've been spoon fed, you're absolutely wrong. I've had to earn it."
Another inevitable question he will face leading up to the Draft will be his off-the-field issues, that includes a February arrest in Arkansas for public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and fleeing. Mayfield has already addressed this at the Senior Bowl when teams conducted early interviews before the Combine. It is something that he knows he must be honest about, and he admits he has learned from the mistake.
"I did a lot of it at the Senior Bowl, and I've been just honest," he said about talking about the arrest. "I talked about my arrest, and people want to put the "party boy" mentality on me, but that's not true at all. I was in a bad situation and I shouldn't have run from the cops. I got scared. I never had a run-in with the law before or after that. I can handle having a lot of responsibility. I had a slipup. It's not a character flaw though."
Instead, Mayfield characterizes himself as someone who is caring on and off the field, and someone who puts in the effort necessary to make his game on the field perfect.
"Fun outgoing. Somebody that is a caring person, always passionate," he said. "I'm not gonna do anything to waste my time. If I'm gonna take my time to do something, it's because I want to give it 110 percent effort. I'd do anything for my friends, I'm very loyal. I love making people happy."
Mayfield was asked which athletes he has admired sports other than football, and a New York favorite in former Yankees captain Derek Jeter came to mind.
"The Captain. Just the level of respect in all sports have for him, it's for a certain reason," Mayfield said. "Never heard a bad thing about him. People being around him, it makes them want to be better just being around his presence because he's a living legend."
Mayfield is trying to build his own legend, and as he looks ahead to his future, he hopes to emulate some of the greats that already made their mark on the game.
"I think a mix of things where people talk about Tom Brady, his work ethic and his winning...Brett Favre, his passion for the game, how much fun he had. I want to be able to have a story that I've had success but I've inspired a lot of people along the way and has been a good role model for kids growing up and something to look up to," Mayfield said.
So, if Mayfield hears his name called by either of New York's teams, his brimming confidence is ready for the big stage. The chip he has on his shoulder is more of "a boulder" in his eyes. And if you think pressure will get to him, think again.
"You can't make diamonds without pressure," he said.