Baker Mayfield is showing how to respond to pressure. The third-year quarterback has struggled as the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback after being selected with the first pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Never winning more than six games in each of his first two seasons, Mayfield and the Browns enter Week 14 with a 9-3 mark. Mayfield has answered a lot of questions this year. Here’s another one: Is ‘Baker’ really his given name?
Baker Mayfield was a college star
Baker Mayfield has the confidence every quarterback needs. He has that swagger and he showed it during his college football days. Mayfield began his college career at Texas Tech under current Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury. He had a strong season in 2013 after being a walk-on but left the school after issues regarding a scholarship.
Mayfield enrolled at Oklahoma and made the team again as a walk-on. After sitting out the 2014 season because of NCAA transfer rules, Mayfield was named the Sooners’ starting quarterback in 2015. He finished the season with 36 touchdown passes and 3,700 passing yards. He finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting.
In the next two seasons, Mayfield combined to throw 83 touchdown passes and racked up 8,322 passing yards. He was the Heisman Trophy winner in 2017 after finishing third in 2016. Mayfield is the only player to win the Heisman as a walk-on.
Baker Mayfield has been up and down in the NFL
Baker Mayfield went on to become the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. The Cleveland Browns selected him as their quarterback of the future. Mayfield played in 14 games as a rookie, starting 13, and was 6-7 in those starts. It was a promising beginning after the Browns had gone winless in 2017.
In his rookie year, Mayfield threw for 3,725 yards and had 27 touchdown passes. The following season, Mayfield and the Browns were expected to take the next step after the team surrounded Mayfield with a couple of quality receivers in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Instead, the Browns regressed. They finished 6-10 as Mayfield threw 22 touchdowns but also finished with 21 interceptions.
Mayfield wasn’t living up to the expectations of being a No. 1 pick. This season got off to a poor start as well as the Browns were pummeled in Week 1, falling 38-6 to the Baltimore Ravens. Since then, the Browns have won 9 of their last 11 games. In a 37-34 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Mayfield threw five touchdown passes. He threw four last week in a 41-35 win over the Tennessee Titans. Mayfield hasn’t been intercepted in his last five games. He has thrown 21 touchdown passes and seven interceptions this year.
Is ‘Baker’ his given name?
Much is known about Baker Mayfield on the football field, but what about off it. Is that even his real name or is ‘Baker’ a nickname? Mayfield was asked about his name before a practice during training camp in his rookie season with the Cleveland Browns.
“This is a good story. So, my dad played with two brothers named Bill and Baker Montgomery and so that was a name that they had known and my mom loved it,” Mayfield told The News-Herald. “My dad didn’t necessarily want to name me that because he had played with him. My mom was in labor and my dad is going through the sports page trying to come up with a name.
“She kept saying ‘Baker.’ She … wanted the name Baker. My dad said, ‘Fine, if you’re going to name him Baker, the middle name is going to be Reagan,’ after (President) Ronald Reagan. And my mom said, ‘Fine. Deal’. And that was that. But the funny thing is Baker Montgomery is one of the biggest University of Texas fans in the world so it doesn’t make much sense.”