The Professional Athlete of the Year Award is presented to the professional athlete who has most distinguished him or herself through athletic excellence during the past year or athletic season.
During the 2018 season, in just 14 appearances, Mayfield broke the NFL's rookie record for most touchdown passes in a season with 27. He beat previous record holders Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson.
He threw 3,725 yards which is the sixth-most all-time by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. He also led the 2018 league rookie quarterbacks in passing yards, completion percentage and passer rating, finishing second amongst all NFL quarterbacks in red zone passer rating.
Mayfield also threw a touchdown in all 13 of his rookie starts, making him one of three league quarterbacks to accomplish that during the start of their career.