INDIANAPOLIS — Baker Mayfield grew up loving Brett Favre, an influence that is evident now in the way the Heisman Trophy winner improvises and makes plays on the fly.
As he's gotten older, though, Mayfield's influences have shifted.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees might be the biggest inspiration for Mayfield's game. There are obvious similarities between Brees and the former Oklahoma star, but the most important is the way Mayfield uses his feet in the pocket.
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"I try to take little bits and pieces from different guys," Mayfield said. "Brees, for me, is a big one. My set, my footwork, keeping my base clean, stable, consistent is a big thing for me, and he's the best in the game at that."
Mayfield, who is projected to go in the top half of the first round, has always talked about his great respect for Brees. On Friday, he told reporters he wouldn't be content with being a backup for any team, but he did say at the Super Bowl that he'd love the chance to learn behind the legendary Saints quarterback.
And Brees's name will be linked to Mayfield throughout this draft process, in large part because both men are 6-feet tall, shorter than most NFL teams want quarterbacks to be.
"Height doesn't matter," Mayfield said. "You see guys like Tyrod Taylor, Brees, Russell Wilson, they've proven that it doesn't matter. If you want to say anything else, I've got three years of tape you can watch. ... I think I have less balls batted at the line of scrimmage than anybody else here."
MINNEAPOLIS — Baker Mayfield's name has already been linked to the New Orleans Saints by several reporters this season, an obvious development given the Heisman Trophy winner's size, enormous college resumé and a competitive streak that seems to fit Sean Payton's personality.