Two of the most polarizing players in the 2018 draft -- Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield -- played in the Senior Bowl on Saturday. The game was of great interest to the New York Jets, who could be in position to draft one of them in April.
Allen improved his stock, reducing the chances of his falling to the Jets at No. 6. Mayfield didn't play much (only two series) and did nothing to raise his draft value, which is terrific news for the Jets if they have a secret crush on the Heisman Trophy winner and hope to pick him. At this point, it's hard to imagine him going in the top five.
After days of speculation about whether he'd play in the game, Mayfield started for the North team and completed only three of seven passes for 9 yards (one drop). He drew positive reviews for his practice work Wednesday and Thursday, but it didn't carry over to the game.
Mayfield missed a couple of open receivers and saw one ball batted down at the line, giving the "he's-too-short" crowd plenty to crow about. (For the record, the Oklahoma product measured 6-foot-⅜-inch.) He didn't stick around for the second half, telling Senior Bowl officials that he needed to get home because of a family medical issue.
I've said this before, and I'll say it again: I'll be surprised if Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan takes Mayfield with the sixth pick. Picking that high, GMs look for prototypes, and Mayfield doesn't fall into that category because of his height. People throw out Drew Brees and Russell Wilson as exceptions to the rule, but they weren't top-six picks. They went in the second and third rounds, respectively.
Meanwhile, Allen gave an Allen performance, which is to say he was up and down. By his own admission, his first half was "a little shaky" -- he overthrew an open receiver by 5 yards on a deep ball -- but he rallied in a big way and finished 9-for-13 for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
Showing he has more than a fastball, Allen displayed nice touch on his two scoring passes (16 and 27 yards), hitting the receivers in stride as they beat man-to-man coverage. He set up the second touchdown by rifling a 31-yard completion on a deep-over route, demonstrating his uncanny arm strength. It was the kind of tight-window throw that has caused problems for him in the past.
Yes, Allen has a cannon, everybody knows that, but can he control it? He was a 56.2 percent passer at Wyoming, an alarmingly low completion percentage. Recent history tells us that won't equate to NFL success. Of the 19 starters drafted in 2010 or later, only two were sub-60 percent passers in college: Tyrod Taylor (57.2) and Trevor Siemian (58.9). (Note: I picked 2010 as a demarcation point because of how college offenses have evolved in recent years.)
That said, I still think the Jets have interest in Allen, who has the physical tools to be a great one. He also has the inconsistency that drives scouts crazy and could get a GM fired.