Baker Mayfield was a great college quarterback, even those that hated him off the field could agree on that much. Even though he was easily the best quarterback in the NCAA this season, many people question if he was worthy of the Browns’ number one pick; but there are two statistics that show that he’s a surefire for offensive rookie of the year for the 2018-2019 season.
Experience is a major key in any great rookie quarterback. In the last ten years there have been four QBs to win Offensive Rookie of the Year (Matt Ryan ’07, Sam Bradford ’10, Cam Newton ’11, and Robert Griffin III ’12), and all four of those QBs had at least four years at college; and Matt Ryan even had five. If you take a look at all five of the first-round picks, it is a relevantly inexperienced class. Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Lamar Jackson have only three years of experience. Josh Allen was at college for four years, though one of them was spent at a juco and he only played 27 games at Wyoming. Baker Mayfield on the other hand, was at a Power 5 school for five years and accumulated 47 games between Texas Tech and OU. Baker’s experience at a high level is just one of the many things that separates him from his fellow rookies.
Though it is often overlooked, high performance at the collegiate level does transfer over to the pros. Of the last ten Heisman winners, eight of them have been quarterbacks. Four of those eight quarterbacks have either gone on to win Offensive Rookie of the Year (Sam Bradford ’10, Cam Newton ’11, and Robert Griffin III ’12), or become a Pro Bowler their rookie year (Jameis Winston ’15). Of the other four that did not win these awards, two have not even stepped foot on the field yet (Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield). While Mayfield and Jackson have both showed that they can compete at an elite level; only Josh Rosen has been selected for an All-American team, and it was a Freshman team selection. If none of the three were ever a top three QB in the NCAA, what makes them worthy of the number one selection?
History tends to repeat itself, and the Browns know it. Any player with Baker’s experience and talent is a no-brainer if he is available to you the night of the draft. Size, off the field issues, and any other downsides he may have; don’t even begin to compare to the upside of having him as your team’s franchise quarterback for the future.