Baker Mayfield was the No. 1 draft pick in the 2018 NFL draft. The Cleveland Browns took a chance at the former Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma and saw the potential he had. In his first year with the Browns, Mayfield put up impressive numbers as the Browns finished with a losing record.
The Browns finished the last two seasons with losing records, and Mayfield is trying to change that for Cleveland. One former NFL player and current analyst believe Mayfield doesn’t have what it takes to lead the Browns to the promised land.
Baker Mayfield’s numbers haven’t been enough for the Browns the last two seasons
When he entered the league, Mayfield showed that he had what it takes to compete in the league. During the 2018 season, he made his NFL debut during Week 3 against the New York Jets. Mayfield came off the bench, replacing an injured Tyrod Taylor. When Mayfield entered the game, the Browns were trailing 14-0. Mayfield finished the game going 17 for 23, passing for 201 yards as the Browns came back and won 21–17. That ended a 19 game losing streak for the Browns, and Mayfield became the first player since 1961 to come off the bench in his debut, throwing for more than 200 yards and lead his team to its first win of the season.
Mayfield put together an impressive season during his rookie year. He finished the 2018-19 season throwing for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns. Mayfield was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team and was named the PFWA Rookie of the Year. Though Mayfield had a productive rookie season, the Browns finished with a 7-8-1 record. The next season, Mayfield saw an improvement in his stats as he finished throwing for 3,827 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also threw 21 interceptions, which is a career-high. The Browns struggled during the 2019-20 season and finished with a 6-10 record.
Cleveland drafted Mayfield because of his impressive college career, and they wanted to build a team around him. In 2019, the team acquired Odell Beckham to improve the offense. But with Beckham on the team, the Browns continued to struggle. In his third season, the Browns are off to a hot start, and through six games, they have a 4-2 record. But Mayfield was benched during Cleveland’s last game against the Pittsburgh Steelers as they suffered a 38-7 loss. Mayfield struggled that game, throwing two interceptions in the first half, and he was replaced by Case Keenum in the third quarter. He received a lot of flack after his disappointing performance.
Baker Mayfield’s wife defends him on social media
After Mayfield’s performance against the Steelers, a lot of people bashed him on social media. His wife, Emily Wilkinson, did not like the responses he was getting. So she decided to go on social media to defend her husband. On her Instagram story, Wilkinson wrote, “He’s not in an easy position. And he’s grinding for this city. It takes time. Don’t send me some stupid s***.”
It was obvious that Wilkinson was fed up with the responses she received about her husband’s performance. As a wife, she’s supported her husband since he entered the league, and she will continue to do so. She knows that her husband is going out there and giving it his all. Mayfield entered the game, not 100 percent, as he was dealing with sore ribs. It was a smart move to take him out of the game before things got worse. Mayfield has been a key player for the Browns this season and a big reason they’re 4-2.
Ryan Clark believes Baker Mayfield in Cleveland will not work out
On Monday, ESPN’s “Get Up,” they wasted no time talking about Mayfield’s performance. Ryan Clark, a former NFL player, had some strong remarks about Mayfield being in Cleveland. “Last year, the Cleveland Browns tried to build their house on the foundation that was Baker Mayfield,” Clark said. “This year they tried a new thing. They said we’re going to build a house around Baker Mayfield to protect him. And what he’s done already is lit the fire that’s going to burn the house down. You can’t win with a quarterback who plays football this way.”
Even though the Browns have started the season off on a strong note, Clark doesn’t see them having much success with Mayfield as the quarterback. “This team is in trouble,” Clark continued. “Not necessarily in trouble that they won’t win games or that they won’t fight for a wild card spot. When you draft a guy No. 1 overall, that says I believe this guy is our franchise guy who can take us to the promised land. Baker Mayfield cannot. He is no Moses. They are no Israelites. They will be stuck and enslaved to who he is for a long time if he remains the quarterback.” Clark’s remarks show that he believes it’s time for the Browns to shop around for another quarterback because Mayfield isn’t the guy they need.
With a lot of the season left, Mayfield can lead the Browns to a playoff spot and prove many of his doubters wrong. Only time will tell what will happen with Mayfield in Cleveland.