MOBILE, ALA.: Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen’s accuracy issues and face-of-the-franchise qualities came to the forefront at the Senior Bowl.

When Allen and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield threw at a net with three pocket targets Wednesday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, one of Allen’s passes zoomed completely over the net after one of Mayfield’s passes hit a pocket.

A video of the scene spread like wildfire on Twitter, but Allen took it in stride Thursday following the third and final Senior Bowl practice.

“Oh, really? Did somebody record that?” Allen said with a smile when told the blooper went viral. “The ball was slick and it came out of my hand bad. It is what it is. I know I wasn’t too far away [from the net], but good thing we don’t throw it in nets in games.

“People want to find things wrong with the top football players. I’m not saying I’m a top football player, but they’re just trying to find something where they can, I guess, have their 15 seconds of fame, and when it’s all said and done, hopefully I’ll have the last laugh.

“We threw to a lot of nets in Wyoming. I’m telling you, not making any excuses, but the new ball is a little slick. But it is what it is. People are going to hate us ’cause they ain’t us, right?”

Allen carried himself like a leader with the way he handled the media. Mayfield, conversely, gave much less time to reporters. Teams monitor how prospects conduct themselves in every aspect during Senior Bowl week, including media interviews.

And all eyes were on Allen and Mayfield, both of whom are hoping to remain in the mix with Southern California’s Sam Darnold and UCLA’s Josh Rosen to be drafted first overall by the Browns on April 26.

On the field, Mayfield was more consistent and had better performances than Allen in the practices that ran Tuesday through Thursday. Allen had his best outing Thursday and had a good showing in red-zone drills.

When Browns General Manager John Dorsey left the North team’s final practice ahead of Saturday’s exhibition game, the veteran player personnel man thought Allen and Mayfield had improved throughout the week.

Allen hoped to show NFL scouts and coaches he’s a better passer than his 56.2 percent completion percentage at Wyoming suggests. He made some great throws at times, but many others were simply off target.

“I think you have to wait until the game is played on Saturday,” Dorsey said when asked if Allen cleared up any accuracy issues. “But I think from a fundamental, teaching standpoint, you can see he made some strides as the week went along and that’s for Baker, too. It’s hard in terms of getting the timing down with receivers. It takes awhile. So I think by the time the game comes around, they’ll be fine.”

Mayfield, who said he arrived late to the Senior Bowl on Tuesday because his mother is ill, hasn’t revealed whether he’ll play in the game Saturday.

“[Mayfield has] done well [in practices],” Dorsey said. “He’s one of those guys that’s so competitive that he’s passed the test here, and now it’s how you play the game. So I think he’ll do a good job. I wouldn’t expect anything less from him because he’s so competitive.”

As for Allen’s throwing-net gaffe, Dorsey wasn’t worried.

“No, you’re picking,” he said. “You want to pick at all these things, but I think eventually, ‘How does he play the game?’ ”

Character concerns

Mayfield’s maturity issues are under the microscope as much as Allen’s ball placement.

Dorsey defended Mayfield, though.

“Are there character concerns about him? You guys [in the media] create a narrative that you try to portray,” Dorsey said.

But reporters didn’t fabricate Mayfield’s arrest last year. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner reached a plea deal after an arrest on public intoxication charges last offseason.

“Every young man will make a mistake in his life, I bet you, and I think he’s very remorseful of that mistake,” Dorsey said. “And I think he’s moved forward from that, and he’s trying to make himself a better person going through the process.”

Mayfield also received criticism for planting a flag on the field after a victory at Ohio State and grabbing his crotch at Kansas with Dorsey in attendance.

“Well, he made the fans of Kansas upset,” Dorsey said. “I can tell you that.”

Although Mayfield said Tuesday he’s not another Johnny Manziel, he hasn’t convinced everyone.

Allen is the polar opposite, and Dorsey noted he’s a great kid. Allen said he met with a couple of Browns area scouts at the Senior Bowl and felt good after all of his meetings with teams.

“I definitely did, and that’s kind of your goal every time,” Allen said. “And I’m sure there’s some things that I said wrong or didn’t do right and maybe they didn’t take in account for that. But any interview I go into, you just try to show who I am and hopefully that’s good.”

When Mayfield has addressed the media at the Senior Bowl, he’s made all of the promises Browns fans love to hear.

On Wednesday, he told 92.3 The Fan if the Browns draft him “they’re getting a winner. They’re getting somebody that’s going to turn that franchise around. They’re getting somebody that no matter what happens, no matter what anybody else on the outside thinks of that franchise that I’m going to put belief and I’m going to put new life into that. And I’ll do everything I can to win, everything for my team and my coaching staff. They’re going to get the biggest competitor they’ve ever seen. That’s what I brought to OU. That’s always what I believed in.”

After Thursday’s practice, Mayfield said he would embrace the challenge of playing for a team that went 0-16 last season.

“Absolutely. It’s like walking on twice,” said Mayfield, who walked on at Texas Tech before doing the same at Oklahoma.

“Playing in the NFL is not about the record they had last year,” he added. “It’s about a new start. Starting over, getting ready to play again.”

The sales pitch

Mayfield said he believes the obstacles he overcame to become a college football star will serve him well in the NFL.

“With walking on, nothing was given to me. I had to go earn it, starting from the lowest part of the totem pole,” Mayfield said. “That’s how you start as a rookie. You’ve got to go earn everything.

“I’m ready for any adversity that’s going to hit. Life is a bunch of ups and downs. It’s how you handle it. It’s not about what it is at the moment. It’s how you react to it, and for me, I’ve been fortunate enough to go through some things that have gotten me ready to be battle-tested.”

Mayfield, who indicated his footwork is the facet of his game he must polish the most because he mostly operated out of the shotgun in college instead of under center, measured at 6-foot-⅜ and weighed in at 216 pounds at the Senior Bowl.

Browns coach Hue Jackson has said he wants his quarterbacks to be at least 6-foot-2.

“There are outliers to everything,” Jackson said Wednesday. “Obviously, [Mayfield] is a tremendous performer. He has played a lot of good football, so we are just going to continue to evaluate all of these guys while we are here.

“This just starts the process. We will continue to see these guys as we go through the offseason here and know more about them all, but obviously, the measurements are what they are. We will take all that into consideration, but this guy has been a big-time performer in college football.”

Allen has the prototypical size Mayfield lacks, measuring at 6-foot-4⅞ and weighing in at 237 pounds at the Senior Bowl. But the Browns already have a young, big, strong-armed quarterback with accuracy issues named DeShone Kizer, and the jury is out about whether Allen is better.

“He has a really good skill set,” Jackson said of Allen. “He is a big guy, big hands and big arm, but I would really need to watch more tape of him to know of all the other things [about his accuracy], and we will. We will watch everything on these guys when the time is right, and I can give you the right answer.”

Allen said he thinks he improved in each Senior Bowl practice and took steps toward establishing himself as the best QB in this class.

“Absolutely. That’s the goal for everybody,” he said. “I’m not going to sit up here and say, ‘I’m the best quarterback,’ because everybody wants to be the best.

“It’s a process, and I know I’m not a perfect quarterback. But hopefully when it’s all said and done, hopefully in 15, 20 years, I can be talked about with some of the greats.”

Allen said his dream is to become the No. 1 pick and he relishes a shot to reverse the fortunes of the Browns.

“The things I can do with the ball, they’re different than most people,” he said. “And I’m going to give everything I have to the team that picks me whether it’s first or 31st or undrafted. I’m going to do everything I can to get in there and win over the locker room and be a leader for that team so I can help win games.”

Nate Ulrich can be reached at nulrich@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/abj.sports.