Ben McAdoo used to work with former Cleveland Browns GM John Dorsey in Green Bay.
And while he professes to respect how Dorsey evaluates players, there was one decision he couldn’t understand.
Dorsey famously drafted Baker Mayfield with the first overall selection of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Like several of Mayfield’s teammates did afterward, McAdoo cited Mayfield’s leadership and competitiveness.
“I didn’t see a lot of pro-style football in his college tape. And if you’re short you have to be able to make up for it some way, somehow, and personality doesn’t do that.” I didn’t think he was a great athlete. This guy is kinda like a pocket quarterback that is short and with small hands, that’s what I worry about.’’
2018: Ben McAdoo not huge on Baker Mayfield.
2022: Ben McAdoo is Baker Mayfield's offensive coordinator.
— theScore (@theScore) July 7, 2022
Why does it matter now?
Because McAdoo runs the Carolina Panthers offense and will call the plays for Baker Mayfield this season.
Time For An Updated Assessment
As of this writing, we have not heard from McAdoo since the drawn-out trade for Mayfield happened.
But we can probably assume he would bump his new quarterback up a few notches.
McAdoo rated Buffalo’s Josh Allen as the top QB pick, followed by Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson.
He put Mayfield’s new teammate, Sam Darnold, just ahead of Josh Rosen, who is out of the NFL.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) July 17, 2018
And in a final insult, McAdoo had Steelers backup, Mason Rudolph, graded ahead of Mayfield.
Carolina’s offensive coordinator was out of work with a lot of time on his hands when he evaluated the 2018 draft.
And he acknowledged before the event that he was not terribly impressed with any of the quarterbacks.
Mayfield’s task to maintain his new status ahead of Darnold begins in training camp.
What About That Scouting Report?
Despite 4 years of NFL experience, Baker Mayfield remains short and his hands have not grown.
Mayfield’s leadership and attitude worked for him when he exploded onto the scene in 2018.
Sheer emotion was enough to rally the Browns to a 5-3 record over the second half of that season.
But Mayfield’s emotional makeup came into play again in 2019, when he says he “lost himself” in negativity.
The #Panthers now have the top two interception throwers since 2018
Baker Mayfield – 56
Sam Darnold – 52
They were also drafted #1 and #3 in 2018. #NFL
— Sheena Quick (@Sheena_Marie3) July 6, 2022
He went to work with his 4th head coach in 2020, and Stefanski helped Mayfield work around his limitations.
Quick decisions off play-action and roll-outs made the most of Mayfield’s arm strength in a playoff campaign.
But multiple personal and team injuries wrecked Mayfield’s follow-up effort.
Whether they completely absolve him of some bad decisions and regression is open to debate.
Can Mayfield Thrive Under McAdoo?
McAdoo is trying to re-establish himself after an ugly departure from the New York Giants.
He took a job advising the Dallas Cowboys’ offense last season after 2 seasons out of the league.
His efforts earned him a shot at helping to save Matt Rhule’s head-coaching job in Carolina this season.
Aaron Rodgers and a late-stage Eli Manning did well in McAdoo’s offense.
Sam Darnold had a good spring for the #Panthers and they're by no means handing the job to Baker Mayfield. There will be a training camp competition between the 2018 Nos. 1 and 3 overall picks.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 6, 2022
Given their track records, Mayfield should get the nod over Darnold as the Panthers’ starter at this point.
But Darnold will get a legitimate shot at reversing that pecking order, along with rookie Matt Corral.
Carolina is a desperate team, and Mayfield’s addition did not completely settle the QB room.
Mayfield’s penchant for stepping up after perceived insults could give him the edge he needs in 2022.