INDIANAPOLIS – Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield displayed no lack of confidence in meeting with the media Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The first question he was asked was about the prospect of playing for the 0-16 Cleveland Browns, who own the Nos. 1 and 4 picks.
"First things first, they’d get a winner," Mayfield said. "If anybody’s going to turn that franchise around, it’s going to be me. They’re close, they’re very close. They’ve got the right pieces. They just need that one guy, quarterback, to make the difference.’’
Mayfield, the Heisman Trophy winner, is projected to be a first-round pick. All of the quarterbacks at the combine met with media Friday. They will work out on the Lucas Oil Field turf on Saturday.
Asked why he's the best quarterback option in the draft, Mayfield said:
"What makes me the best option? Accuracy, I can make any throw. Winning, that’s the most important, but the way I’ve been able to get my guys around me to play, not just the offensive players around me, the other 10 guys, but defensive guys, special teams, the energy I bring, the passion I bring, it’s infectious. So you can ask anybody on that Oklahoma staff, that’s what I bring to the table and it helps us out."
While Mayfield was self-assured in his statements, his body language and tone did not project brashness. He was relaxed.
Asked about leading older teammates with his swagger, Mayfield said he foresaw no problem.
"That’s not cockiness, it’s just confident," he said. "Everybody in that locker room has earned that place in the locker room. Those guys are trying to feed their families. But I’m not going to act like I’ve got it all figured out … I’ve always been the first one to say my mistake and we need to get better."
No change: The one top QB not scheduled to throw on Saturday is Southern Cal's Sam Darnold. He said he will not change his throwing motion, which has been called funky and a tad elongated at times.
Said Darnold: "I'm not trying to change my throwing motion at all. I think I get the ball off pretty quick. There is kind of a wind-up, but I think I get it off quick and that's what matters. . . . The motion I have is what got me to this point, and I really haven't gotten into trouble with it."
Bills WR connection: Bills receiver Zay Jones is providing advice to former East Carolina teammate Davon Grayson during the combine this week. Grayson caught 58 passes for the Pirates in 2017. He's projected to be a late-round or free-agent prospect. Grayson said he was on the phone with Jones just before the receivers' media session Friday.
"Zay supports me so much in everything I've done," Grayson said. "Me and Zay have been roommates since the first day we stepped on campus, in the dorms and on the road. We've been best friends."
What's one thing fans might not realize about Jones?
"Zay likes to sing," Grayson said.
Is Jones a good singer?
"I wouldn't say that. He likes to sing."
East Carolina has produced a string of NFL receivers the past dozen years. They include Terrance Cooper, who played nine years in the NFL, Dwayne Harris of Dallas, Justin Hardy, a fourth-round pick of Atlanta in 2015, and Jones, the Bills' second-round pick last year.
"Wide receiver U, that's what we like to call it," Graves said. "I knew Zay was going to have success. He loves the game of football. We come from the same bloodline of athletes at ECU. We chew the same dirt. We know we don't come from a whole lot. We work for everything we've gotten. I know he's going to continue to improve his game. I'm looking forward to seeing what Zay Jones has in store for you this year."
LSU connection: Receiver D.J. Chark of Louisiana State is a fast, 6-foot-3 receiver who could be attractive to the Bills if he lasts to the middle of the second round. Chark credits Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White with helping his development at LSU.
"I was surprised he went late in the first round," Chark said. "He's the best cornerback I've faced in college all four years. I have to give credit to him for helping make me the player that I am, every day going against him in practice. It got to the point where I only went against him. He helped me out a lot. Sometimes after a play I'd ask him why he shaded to one side or the other, that helped me out. To see what he's doing, it's no surprise. LSU has a lot of great talent. To see it happen in the NFL, we're kind of used to it."
Center injured: Ohio State center Billy Price suffered a tear in a pectoral muscle while participating in the bench press on Thursday. ESPN reported it is an "incomplete tear" and might not need surgery, which would mean he would be ready for training camp. However, Price is expected to get a second opinion before deciding if surgery is warranted. Price, a two-time Buckeyes team captain, was projected to be a late first-round pick before the injury. While the Bills lost center Eric Wood, the presence of backup Ryan Groy on the roster and the team's many other needs probably would not put them in the center market early in the draft.