On New Year's Day, the youngest head coach in college football brings his Oklahoma Sooners into the College Football Playoffs, and he has Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield leading the way. The good news for Lincoln Riley as he enters the Rose Bowl is that most of the nation will focus on Baker, taking some of the pressure off the young head coach. The good news for Sooners fans is that Mayfield can handle the pressure, even as the NFL watches and critiques his every move in the final games of his college football career. The question is whether or not Baker is the next Brett Favre and a future NFL star or the next Johnny Manziel, and a wasted NFL Draft pick.

Baker Mayfield on-field skills

There is no questioning the playing skills of Baker Mayfield. The Oklahoma Sooners star quarterback has completed 71 percent of his passes for two consecutive seasons. He owns the NCAA record for passing efficiency with an eye-popping 203.76 number - a record that he broke last year before shattering it again this season. When CBS Sports asked one NFL scout about the talent of Baker, he compared him to Deshaun Watson.

As a reminder, Watson was the third quarterback drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft (Houston Texans), following Mitch Trubisky (Chicago Bears) and Patrick Mahomes II (Kansas City Chiefs). Out of all the rookie quarterbacks who started in 2017 for an NFL team, it was Watson that looked the most promising.

That puts Baker Mayfield a lot closer to Brett Favre than Johnny Manziel when it comes to on-field skills. However, during the Big 12 Championship game, one announcer had an even better comparison - former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young.

Off-field problems could hurt NFL Draft stock

The one problem that many fans and some NFL scouts point out is the maturity problems that some believe Baker Mayfield brings to the table.

If Baker drops in the 2018 NFL Draft, it will be due to some misconceptions about the young Oklahoma Sooners quarterback.

CBS Sports spoke to some NFL scouts who said they are worried about his "impulsiveness" and immaturity. In February, Baker Mayfield was arrested for public intoxication, and a video hit the Internet that showed Baker in a very unflattering light as he tried to stumble away from the police.

That was something for which Baker took complete responsibility. It should also be noted that Baker is 22 and was not drinking and driving.

The second instance was when the Oklahoma Sooners punished Baker Mayfield for taunting Kansas Jayhawks after a touchdown by grabbing his crotch. Of course, what no one mentions is that this came after Kansas defensive players took cheap shots and hit Baker out of bounds and after the Jayhawks refused a pre-game handshake from Mayfield. The entire situation built up over the whole game and Baker took responsibility and apologized to OU fans for that as well.

As for him trying to bury the OU flag after the Ohio State win, there have been hundreds of celebrations like this over the years in college football and the NFL after emotionally charged wins.

Yes, some NFL scouts and fans want to bury Baker Mayfield for these instances. However, when it comes to the NFL Draft - Baker is nothing like Johnny Manziel when it comes to maturity levels.

The Baker intangibles

The one area where many NFL scouts agree is that Baker Mayfield is an on-field leader. He is very similar to Deshaun Watson, Brett Favre and Steve Young in this area. Baker will put the entire team on his back and carry them to a win. He takes responsibility for mistakes and gives all the credit for the wins to his teammates.

Baker Mayfield was a walk-on quarterback for the Texas Tech Red Raiders and won the Big 12 Freshman of the Year award - a first for a walk-on. He left Texas Tech when he saw they were not planning on sticking with him as the starter and walked on to the Oklahoma Sooners.

He won the starting role and won a Heisman Trophy this year. He now has a chance to go from a college walk-on quarterback to a first-round NFL Draft pick.

Deshaun Watson was the third quarterback taken last season. Many NFL Draft experts predict the same for Baker Mayfield, although quarterback guru Rich Bartel believes Baker should be the first quarterback taken. If Baker goes third, he could follow Watson's footsteps and be the most exciting quarterback taken in the NFL Draft.

2017 NFL Draft possibilities

Even if he is taken late, Baker Mayfield could follow in the footsteps of Brett Favre and Steve Young - and even Tony Romo. Favre was a second-round NFL Draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons and ended up traded to the Green Bay Packers one year later, where he became a star.

Steve Young played in the USFL and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before becoming a star with the 49ers. Tony Romo wasn't drafted and became the Dallas Cowboys all-time passing leader.

When looking at those names, maybe Baker Mayfield would be better off not compared at all to Johnny Manziel - a first-round NFL Draft flop who is out of the NFL entirely now. The Rose Bowl on New Year's Day will give Baker a chance to show NFL scouts once again how great he is on the field as he leads the Oklahoma Sooners against the Georgia Bulldogs. The 2018 NFL Draft will give teams a chance to decide whether they want to take a gamble on his greatness or be wary of perceived off-field problems.