Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield had one of his best moments of a deteriorate final week, and it didn’t uncover adult on a stat sheet.
Mayfield was personification Baltimore, and a Ravens were attempting to get underneath his skin with some of a common tricks. There was a occasional rabble talk. The additional force after he threw a pass. All were designed to annoy a rookie QB and hit him out of any intensity comfort zone.
There was a problem: It didn’t work.
Mayfield responded several times yet never got sucked totally in. He remained flattering calm, we was told by one Ravens player, who combined that he walked divided from Baltimore’s 12-9 overtime detriment in Cleveland intensely tender with Mayfield. In a player’s opinion, Mayfield is a destiny star.
He was distant from a usually Raven who was impressed.
“Baker is one of those guys,” reserve Tony Jefferson told BaltimoreRavens.com after a game. “We talked about it all week. He’s a fighter, he’s a playmaker. He’s got that ‘it’ cause to him.”
Mayfield finished a diversion 25-of-43 for 342 yards with one touchdown and one interception. It was a plain opening opposite one of a best defenses in football.
To contend that Mayfield has been a success so distant would be a thespian understatement. In heading a Browns to dual wins, and a nearby win in Oakland, he has spin one of a heading possibilities for Rookie of a Year.
It’s early, yet to people in a NFL, he already has shown majority and ability they believed they’d never see. Barring some variable calamity, like an visitor advance or Mayfield going on a celebration vessel with Johnny Manziel, it is protected to contend a Browns got this one right.
They got it really right.
Many in a media (including me—big time), though, got this one wrong. So, too, did many inside a NFL. Oh, sure, his name was bandied about as a probability to go No. 1 in a draft, yet some-more than a few of us (media, fans, execs) were honestly astounded when a Browns tabbed Mayfield forward of Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen or Josh Allen.
What did so many of us skip about Mayfield? In vocalization with a series of joining sources, there seem to be 5 reasons because Mayfield flog many of a predictions of gloom:Jason Miller/Getty Images
Mayfield is listed during 6’1″. (Brees and Wilson are about 6’0″). The NFL (and many in a media) trust a quarterback has to be in a 6’3″ operation and aloft to be generally successful.
What NFL teams continue to blink is a significance of athleticism in a quarterback, a ability to hurl out of a pocket, or only take a few stairs in one instruction to transparent a flitting lane. Height is no longer a emanate it once was—if it ever was a genuine issue.
He’s no Manziel. Several joining sources pronounced that Mayfield—unfairly—was compared to unsuccessful Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.
“To some teams,” one director said, “the disaster of Manziel in a Browns uniform stranded to Baker.”
Mayfield is no Manziel. He’s done plays within a offense. He hasn’t combined any off-field drama. And he appears to have warranted a trust of his teammates.
Factory of Happiness. The Browns have prolonged been terrible during picking quarterbacks. So bad, in fact, that some teams believed a Browns would never get it right.
Their reason for feeling that was a horrible Browns culture, that a authorization was so soaked in misery no singular actor could change it. So, a meditative went, holding a risk on Mayfield initial altogether was a waste.Joe Robbins/Getty Images
It turns out a Browns already had players who were assisting to change (Myles Garrett, arch among them) a culture, combined some some-more in a offseason (Jarvis Landry, Tyrod Taylor), and with Mayfield, it has all come together.
The Saquon Barkley factor. There was a clever feeling (and with lots of merit) that Barkley was a improved collect in a breeze with a lot reduction risk. Barkley has been glorious for a Giants (racking adult 71 carries for 308 yards and 3 touchdowns), who comparison him second altogether behind Mayfield.
But given with a fast decrease of Giants quarterback Eli Manning, it might spin out it’s a Giants who done a breeze mistake in not selecting a quarterback, not a Browns.
The Browns front office. It is distant improved than teams expected. Remember, with a fourth altogether pick, a group took defensive behind Denzel Ward. There were some extraordinary looks, even private derisive from teams, about holding Ward that high.
Ward is now deliberate one of a best immature corners in football. He is tied for a lead in interceptions with three. Last week opposite Baltimore, he had a collect and blocked a Justin Tucker kick, earning himself AFC Special Teams Player of a Week honors.
With Ward and Mayfield on his resume, ubiquitous manager John Dorsey can now exaggerate of carrying drafted a who’s who of up-and-coming stars: from Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt and Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City to Mayfield, Ward, Nick Chubb and Antonio Callaway in Cleveland.
That has a makings of not only a good front bureau yet potentially a good one.
Rub your eyes all we want, yet it looks like a Browns finally might know what they’re doing.
There’s a doctrine in there for all of us that with only a few right decisions, any group can change a fate, no matter what everybody else expects.
Mike Freeman covers a NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @mikefreemanNFL.