This weekend’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. finds Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield front and center; including his questionable off-field behavior. Psychologist Dr. Travis Heath joined Renaud Notaro and Dan Jacobs of Mile High Sports AM 1340 | FM 104.7 to discuss the the Heisman Trophy winner’s track record, and he explained how it might be of concern.
“I think sometimes — with young men especially — there are maturity issues,” Heath said. “The brain is not fully matured in young men until average age 25. So, you have to expect that young men — especially young men with a decent amount of celebrity — might be prone to doing some stupid things from time to time, but when it starts to become a pattern, I do start to become worried,” Heath said.
On the field, Mayfield has trash-talking opposing team’s sidelines, which pale in comparison to his Feb. 25, 2016 arrest during a drunken altercation. He was charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest and fleeing. He is often compared to Johnny Manziel, who is known for his trouble and out of control behavior.
With the NFL Draft approaching, Heath believes that interested teams — including the Broncos — should not only look at Mayfield’s talent as a quarterback, but also his conduct off of the field.
“I’m sure that NFL teams — I hope they do in this day and age — have psychologists that are helping them during the pre-draft process that will be present for some of the interviews. Hopefully they’re going to do some personality assessments, and then what you can start to see are the behaviors that he’s exhibiting; do they line up with some of the test data that you’re getting? If they start to, that’s a pretty bad sign,” Heath said. “One thing I’ve learned about the NFL, and pro sports in general: if your talent is good enough, teams will overlook these things, and we also have a history of teams in all pro sports that are so arrogant to believe that they can change a person.”
Heath believes that personality assessments are the best way to see if Mayfield’s occasional impudence should be of any concern. Mayfield is only 22 years old, so this may be only a sign of immaturity. However, if data from a personality adds up and shows a pattern, there should be concern.
“I’m more interested in the personality assessment here. If your data then starts to show you the same problems that you’re seeing from his behavior — because you can’t fake these personality tests, if you give them a good personality test like the MMPI (The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory); it’s got a lie scale, it’s got inconsistency scales, it can tell if you’re trying to fake good or fake bad, trying to look better than you are or look worse than you are — so something like that, I’d be pretty interested to see the data on. Now if the data comes back in a way that’s very abnormal, than perhaps you’d look at it and say, ‘well, maybe this is a young kid making some bad choices’. If on the other hand, you know, the data aligns with some of the behavior we’re seeing, that’s sort of the double-whammy man.” Heath said.
Mayfield will have an opportunity to silence some of those concern this weekend at the Senior Bowl this Sunday.
Click here to listen to the full interview with Dr. Travis Heath, including xxxxxxx, or listen to the podcast below.
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