The Browns used the No. 1 overall choice on Baker Mayfield in 2018 hoping he would be different than the failures the team previously drafted at the position in the first round since 1999.
Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden and Johnny Manziel read like a Who’s Not of NFL quarterbacks.
The jury remains out on Mayfield, who has not taken the next step as expected after receiving support for offensive rookie of the year in 2018. He has 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions this season, with his 79.9 passer rating ranking 33rd in the NFL.
Browns offensive coordinator Todd Monken still believes in Mayfield’s ability and potential despite the numbers.
“In my mind, we’ve got the right guy going forward,” Monken said, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com.
Monken blames the entire offense rather than one player, even if that player is the quarterback. He said the offense needs to play better as a unit.
“There’s no doubt,” Monken said. “Any statistical evidence you have of any area you want to look at has its holes. Obviously, we’ve got to do it collectively as a group better, but I think he’s a tremendous, tremendous football player, competitor, smart, tough, has a rare competitive quality and rare want to be great. That’s a thing that I think is going to continue to push him and for him to push the rest of our offensive group. There’s been some moments where we haven’t played as well around him; we’ve gotten behind a little bit, and he’s competitive.
“But he isn’t a guy, over his career, I’ll be stunned if he’s a guy that turns the ball over a lot. He doesn’t have that in him. He does not. He’s not careless with the football. If you look at it, one of his interceptions is a shovel pass at New England for God’s sake. That’s not his fault; it’s our fault; my fault for the way we designed it, and the way it turned out. Sure there’s other ones, but in my mind we’ve got the right guy going forward.”
The Browns, after so many failures at the position, sure hope so. Mayfield will return under center next year and likely the year after, but this is not turning out to be the year he or the Browns expected, inviting questions about whether Mayfield is a franchise quarterback.