As the last great quarterback to lead the New York Jets to glory, Joe Namath's opinion still carries weight in the Empire City.
Broadway Joe, like the rest of us, eagerly awaits the Jets selecting a QB at No. 3 overall in Thursday's NFL draft. During a phone interview with ESPN's Rich Cimini, Namath had positive things to say about Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen, but had particularly glowing comments about one possible pick: Baker Mayfield.
"I haven't met them, but I've watched them and the most outrageous, so to speak, that I've seen has been Mayfield," Namath said.
Namath said he watched Mayfield plenty in college and was especially impressed with the Oklahoma quarterback's play in a College Football Playoff loss to Georgia.
"Hey, it wasn't just Georgia, it was a couple of years, early on, when I saw him play," said Namath, tracing his affinity for Mayfield. "I saw him a couple of years back. I never saw him look bad. I don't know how tall he is. I still don't know big he is. Size can be a major asset, yes, size can be an asset in today's game. But Drew Brees, his size was questioned many times and he's one of the greatest players who's ever played."
Namath sees the positive traits many scouts love about Mayfield -- accuracy and quick release -- and noted he was glad his Alabama Crimson Tide didn't have to face the Oklahoma QB in the college championship game.
"When I see his quick feet and I see him throwing every which way, I see the accuracy, I see the intensity, his hustle," Namath said. "Hey, I tell you, I wouldn't want to play against him. I didn't want Alabama to play against him."
Aside from the knock on his height, Mayfield must stiff arm the belief he's a system quarterback and that he's too swaggerific to succeed in the NFL. The man who defined QB strutting doesn't sound worried about Mayfield.
"I'm not as big on the outward swagger, so to speak, but the confidence, the leadership qualities ... and that damn confidence, man. Don't tell me I can't do it, I'm gonna get it done," Namath said.
We'll choose to ignore the fact that the man famous for wearing fur coats and who guaranteed New York's Super Bowl victory says he's not big on "outward swagger."
If the Jets land Mayfield as their quarterback of the future there will be obstacles to overcome, but at least he's got approval from Gang Green's last great quarterback.