Throughout QB Baker Mayfield's six-year NFL career, one thing has remained certain: Mayfield takes a lot of hits and sacks. Since being drafted No. 1 overall by Cleveland in 2018, Mayfield has taken 199 sacks, which is tied for fourth behind Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins, and Derek Carr, per Stat Muse.
This season, much hasn't changed for Mayfield, as he's taken 28 sacks ahead of week 15's matchup versus Green Bay. In addition, Mayfield has been pressured 87 times, hit 29 times, and hurried 30 times, culminating in a career-worst 2.3 second pocket time.
To top it all off, the Buccaneers' offensive line has seemingly changed on a per-week basis. Outside of star left tackle Tristan Wirfs, every other position has seen its backup play considerable snaps, and rookie guard Cody Mauch and second-year tackle Luke Goedeke have both struggled.
To help protect Mayfield and add another durable offensive lineman to Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers draft Paul, a standout junior offensive tackle at Houston. Since committing to the Cougars as a three-star recruit in 2020, Paul has anchored Houston's offensive line.
In his first two seasons at Houston, Paul only plated in five games, but still managed to allow just three QB hurries, three QB hits, and zero sacks at LT. As a junior Paul would get the starting nod, and was solid, starting in 14 games and giving up 11 QB hurries, four QB hits, and three sacks in 964 snaps.
This season, Paul has been even better for Houston as a pass protecting LT. Per Sports Reference, Paul has played in 12 games and played a total of 832 snaps this season, and has only conceded 12 QB hurries, three QB hits, and one sack, all career-bests.
At 6'7" and 315 pounds, Paul's massive frame makes it a major challenge for opposing defenders to get around or through him. With this said, Paul is still extremely agile and aware, and can make the proper adjustments when presented with stunts, blitzes, and combo blocks.
Likewise, Paul is fundamentally sound and understands blocking angles, and will use his body positioning to his advantage. Coupled with his disciplined awareness and good intelligence, and Paul has done an excellent job of committing little to no penalties.
Even at 6'7" and 315, Paul isn't very physically imposing and has average overall strength. In pass protection, Paul will get too high in his sets, and that sacrificing some of his power and strength. Above all, Paul doesn’t show great coordination between his upper and lower body when sliding back in pass protection.