The Cleveland Browns shock everyone by making Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield the No. 1 overall pick (courtesy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer) of the 2018 NFL Draft. It is a decision that Browns’ general manager John Dorsey will be judged by for years to come.
The big question John Dorsey and the Cleveland Browns will face is a simple one — did the Browns finally get the quarterback position right?
It was a stunning turn of events, with the Cleveland Browns opting to take a huge gamble by entrusting Baker Mayfield to oversee football’s most important position. Baker Mayfield comes with his share of positive attributes. However, there are some shortcomings to Baker Mayfield’s game.
Baker Mayfield becomes the first Oklahoma Sooners quarterback to be taken in the first round in quite some time. The last Sooners QB that went in the first round was Sam Bradford, who ironically was selected No. 1 by a then quarterback-starved St. Louis Rams franchise.
There are few similarities between Sam Bradford and Baker Mayfield. One of those similarities is arm strength. Arguably the biggest praise that Baker Mayfield has received was for his throwing power. Mayfield is in a prime position to wow Cleveland Browns fans with his arm.
Baker Mayfield has one of the strongest throwing arms among the quarterbacks in this draft class. It was on full display during his NFL Pro Day back in March. According to the NFL website, Baker Mayfield was strong with his passes, while also being accurate. He connected on 62 of 70 throws.
What Baker Mayfield will bring to the Cleveland Browns is a competent deep ball. The Browns have a trio of wide receivers in Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, and the recently acquired Jarvis Landry. All of them should benefit tremendously if Baker Mayfield can maintain his accuracy in the NFL.
The biggest knock on Mayfield is his height — Mayfield is listed under 6-foot-1. Can he see over his offensive lineman? Where Mayfield lacks in size, he makes up with his elusiveness.
Do not expect the Cleveland Browns to employ a ton of run plays for Baker Mayfield. He can scramble out of the pocket if the pass rush comes. One of Baker Mayfield’s least discussed traits is his innate ability to throw the football while being on the run.
Beyond Baker Mayfield’s slightness in stature, many of the comparisons to Sam Bradford are true. Unfortunately, Mayfield often gets compared to former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Baker Mayfield does have some baggage which stems from his days with the Oklahoma Sooners. The Cleveland Browns can only hope those days are behind him.