4. Browns QB Baker Mayfield
While some Browns faithful understand that Baker Mayfield is a true talent, others will find this pick controversial. Mayfield is the only quarterback since Brian Sipe to have back-to-back 20+ touchdown seasons in Browns history. He’s one of the best quarterbacks in franchise history already and he’s only entering year three. Sure, the bar is low, as the team really only ever had three true stars at the position (Sipe, Bernie Kosar, Otto Graham), and save for Sipe, Mayfield has already posted better stats in his first two years than the others.
Sure, different eras, different expectations, and all that jazz but still. The point stands.
Mayfield hasn’t always been on the right side of things and has made himself a target for both the local and national media alike. Sure, when it comes to certain guys like Collin Cowherd and Tony Grossi, there does seem to be a lot of bias there against Mayfield for his past mistakes, but that doesn’t mean that any time the media criticizes him that they’re wrong. Mayfield doesn’t always hold himself to the highest standards of accountability.
Though that seems to be changing. Especially in more recent times. When Grossi got suspended for his disparaging and unprofessional comments about Mayfield, the star quarterback was largely quiet during the whole time, choosing instead to take the high road. The show of maturity from Mayfield may hint at a young man who’s coming into his own, right when the team he represents is on the precipice of something truly exciting. Gone are the wish-fulfillment years of seasons gone by and here is a truly unique and rare expectation of a team that can truly be good.
That is assuming the team finishes the 2020 off-season making all the right choices as they’ve done through the first part of it. Should the team continue to be built correctly, Mayfield will walk in the 2020 season ready to take his seat on the throne of Greatest Quarterbacks in Browns history.
One doesn’t just sit on that throne, however, Brian Sipe has earned that seat. It’ll take Mayfield a playoff win or two to get him even into that conversation.