Cleveland went 1-31 the past two seasons and horrendous quarterback play heavily contributed to Hue Jacksons squads futility. Cleveland had its pick of every player in the Draft and several quarterbacks who were touted as future stars and they picked Baker Mayfield, an undersized gunslinger with questionable character. They also signed former Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, a game manager with a winning resume.
Its just one preseason game, but if Cleveland finishes among the leagues worst teams again, it won’t be the fault of the quarterback position as Taylor and rookie Mayfield both did damage against the New York Giants in East Rutherford on Thursday night in the opening of NFL preseason.
Taylor, a seasoned veteran, looked ready to start the campaign as the top guy. He completed his first five passes against the Giants on Thursday night and seems happy to be out of Buffalo, where he was undervalued despite leading them to the playoffs in 2017 for the first time since the 1999 season.
Daily Press Sports on Twitter
Thursday’s local interest NFL preseason roundup (to be updated): Tyrod Taylor completes first five passes for 99 yards and a TD in his debut with Browns https://t.co/40BrDUSEWe
Unfortunately Taylor has a No. 1 overall pick breathing down his back, who showed in his first preseason game that he is gunning for nothing less than that top spot and he is a special player with multifaceted abilities to throw, scramble and make things happen.
NFL analyst Brian Baldinger, a retired 12-year NFL veteran, called Mayfields performance the greatest debut by a rookie quarterback that hes ever seen. Mayfield finished with an impressive stat line of 11/20 for 212 yards, 2 TDs and no interceptions. He also led the Browns in rushing with 13 yards.
Brian Baldinger on Twitter
@browns @bakermayfield had one of the greatest rookie starts to a career that I have ever watched. Baker Baker the Playmaker. #BaldyBreakdiwns https://t.co/9W07TYfHu7
Thats big props to the rookie.
Could be hyperbole, but theres no disputing that Mayfield can flat out play. If he can stay focused and continue to distance himself from his checkered past and perform against starting NFL defenses, then just like that we have a Rocky vs. Apollo Creed quarterback controversy in Cleveland.
NFL on Twitter
How did the No. 1 overall pick look in his preseason debut? EVERY @bakermayfield throw from #CLEvsNYG! https://t.co/QLJQezjNT7
Considering where the Browns have come from, that’s a great problem for the franchise to have. Cleveland isn’t used to such positive press. That in itself should make Browns fans a bit less pessimistic.