Baker Mayfield doesn't plan on changing the essence of who he is as a football player.
He might try to be less flamboyant on social media, but the Heisman-winning Oklahoma quarterback thinks he has the physical tools to succeed in the NFL.
"I'm not going to change who I am but there’s certain things with social media; you don’t need to stir the pot constantly," said Mayfield, who is trying to shed any fair or unfair notion of being a loose cannon after a few eyebrow-raising moments during his college career.
"No need to do that stuff. But I’ve always been an outgoing person, somebody that’s confident, somebody who has passion and energy for the game of football."
Mayfield, who is projected by many to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium in late April, wants scouts, coaches and general managers to know he can be trusted.
"Whoever I’m playing for I’m going to be passionate about it. I’m going to be up front about that but there’s certain things social media-wise and just not getting in trouble, which is a lot of what they’re talking about," he said. "Because I’m going to strive to be the face of the franchise so you’ve got to be the guy on and off the field that people want to admire and see lead their team."
Former Eagles quarterback and NFL analyst Ron Jaworski, who was given the Davey O'Brien Legends Award, expects Mayfield to succeed in the NFL. Jaworski didn't have the same expectations for another Heisman-winning Texas quarterback Johnny Manziel before the 2014 draft.
"I saw a lot of things in Baker that lead me believe he's going to be a real good pro. He stays within structure. He'll go through his progression. His deep ball is calibrated for the most part 100 percent," Jaworski said.
"He has great individual talent. He can extend the play but he doesn't do that at first. He wants to make a play with his arm and break down a defense by reading the coverage and getting the ball to a receiver that wants to get the ball."
The inevitable comparisons to Manziel, who is trying to make a comeback after being released by the Cleveland Browns, didn't surprise Mayfield.
"I knew that after I got arrested it was going to happen," said Mayfield of his February 2017 arrest in Arkansas for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. "But you look at my track record before and after that, I've never had a run-in with the law. Never gone out of my way and done dumb things. A lot of things bothered me with that. I knew exactly who I was.
"And I didn’t want to be portrayed as the villain or somebody like that. I feel like I make a lot of people happy. I do good things within my community. I'm not trying to say those cover up any mistakes that I've made, but there's always a learning curve when you're growing up. And for me, it happened that I was in the spotlight when I made my mistakes."
After twice walking on and starring at first Texas Tech and then Oklahoma, Mayfield expects to prove the doubters wrong again.
"Nobody really knows. You can do your evaluation, but until you put somebody out there with guys running at them, that's when it really shows," he said. "You can do these drills. You can do measurables. And somebody can look really good.
"But until you see what they're made of when people are running after you and try to tackle you, try to fluster you when you're going through your reads. Nobody really knows. None of that really matters until you get out there and you're playing and you see what somebody is actually made of."
Mayfield said he'll watch the NFL Draft, which is at AT&T Stadium in Arlington for the first time, at home in Austin with his parents, family and friends. Many first round-prospects are typically on hand for when their name is called for the photo opportunity of holding their new jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Mayfield is projected to go as high as sixth by at least one draft expert.
"There are so many people that helped me along the way that I want to celebrate this with," he said. "Because it's not just about me. Yeah, one name gets called, but I've had coaches, teammates, my family, that have all been there for me through the ups and downs that I want to help celebrate with."