The Dawg Pound in Cleveland has been through a lot in the 21st century, from 18 years of no playoffs to making the AFC divisional playoff in 2021, losing by only five points to eventual AFC champs and Super Bowl LIV champs Kansas City.
Baker Mayfield has the skills to be a great quarterback in the NFL and what sets him apart from others is his charisma, his ego, and his willingness to win at all costs.
He has largely failed to live up to his Heisman Trophy and number one pick hype but that could be due to what he has been surrounded with and the franchise that drafted him.
In his four years in the NFL he has had a different offensive co-ordinator each year. He has not had the right players around him until last year.
The Browns added Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr to give him some much needed firepower. Along with Nick Chubb he finally has the weapons at his disposal.
He has been the subject of much criticism since he entered the league, but he has not let it get to him too much. He is undoubtedly the Browns’ leader and they go as he does. He is a fearless American football player and always has his emotions on his sleeve and that is why he is must-watch TV when he plays.
So much pressure has been on him since he entered the league and he just keeps on going with a grit and determination that is nearly unmatched. He is a great player to watch and the pressure will only go up as the year goes on.
But he is one player that embodies everything you want in a quarterback and teammate: determination to win, he never gives up, and he is willing to get down and dirty to help his team in anyway he can. Mayfield can be a little bit of a hot head and it has gone against him, as he loses games that he shouldn’t and often performs poorly.
In his three years in the NFL, Mayfield has 7960 pass yards with 52 touchdowns and 37 intercepts while he has an average quarterback rating of 85.6. Those stats are okay but not great. Also, he is 13-18 as a starter. Is that good enough?
Absolutely not, but it is not all his fault. The franchise that drafted him has been a basket case for years but slowly they are clawing their way back. Other times it has been on Mayfield. Poor decisions throwing the ball, bad interceptions and all out collapsing in games has not helped his cause.
I am still not sold on Mayfield. Is he a franchise quarterback? Yes, he is. Is he a top 15 quarterback? No. Will he win you a Super Bowl? Possibly, but he is far from it at this stage.
But apart from Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes (who already has), which quarterbacks are on teams capable of winning a Super Bowl in their first three years? Not many at all.
When a team drafts you number one overall, they expect you to have an instant impact and give the franchise and its fans hope for the future. Does Mayfield give Browns fans hope? Yeah, maybe he does, but their patience is running out and if he has another year in which he fails to take this franchise to the playoffs – especially with the weapons he has around him – then it very well could be his last year in Cleveland.
That very well could come to fruition if he fails to live up to the hype that first surrounded him.
Watching Mayfield play is simply must-see TV as he will either leave you scratching you head or have you marvelling at his quarterback play. The 2020 season is a huge year for Mayfield to silence the critics and prove he is deserving of being a starting quarterback in the NFL.