As the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Baker Mayfield had a great year for the Cleveland Browns, leading the team to a 7-8-1 record while throwing for 4,530 yards, 27 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, and a 93.7 QB rating, per Pro Football Reference. However, the former Heisman Trophy winner has been off to a rocky start in the current season thus far, with the Browns winning only one of their first three games and Mayfield throwing only three touchdown passes to five interceptions.
It didn’t help matters when the second-year quarterback struggled during Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, throwing a late-game interception that essentially wasted the Browns’ late-game comeback attempt, as noted by USA Today.
As quoted by USA Today‘s For the Win, it appears that former New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan doesn’t have much hope for Mayfield, even with 13 games remaining in the Browns’ 2019 season. Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up, Ryan remarked on Monday that he doesn’t get why Mayfield is having a hard time putting up good numbers despite having offensive weapons such as wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry and running back Nick Chubb. He then emphasized this by calling the 24-year-old signal-caller “overrated as hell.”
When asked to justify his opinion of Mayfield, Ryan said that he “bought into the dang hype” during his rookie season, before adding that he didn’t believe it to the point that he expected the former Oklahoma Sooners star to win league MVP honors in 2019.
“Here’s a guy right now that’s a one-read guy, and then he’s going to improvise,” Ryan continued. “He’s gotta realize that you are one of the slowest guys on that field when you take off with it. The ball’s not coming out in rhythm. He’s staring down guys, and you’re not that accurate down the field.”
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 23, 2019
According to For the Win, Ryan’s comments carried some weight, as Mayfield has had some problems with his fundamentals in the Browns’ first three games. However, the publication opined that it’s still “a bit unfair” for the former Jets coach to call the young quarterback overrated so early in the season, especially since his last game was against a particularly tough Rams defense.
With more than 80 percent of the NFL regular season remaining, the Browns still have a chance to end their record-long streak of missing the playoffs, which is currently at 17 years. However, this will largely depend on Mayfield’s performance, which will again be tested on Sunday as his team faces the Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore Ravens, as noted by Cleveland.com.