Yesterday morning I woke up to a shocking report of the Cleveland Browns considering drafting QB Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick in the draft. Minutes later I get another notification saying Twitter isn’t buying the Mayfield to the Browns rumors. Despite what Twitter has to say, I’m all in on Mayfield being the number one overall pick in this draft.
Throughout this entire draft process, I have believed Baker Mayfield is the best quarterback in the draft. I’ve looked past the concerns of Mayfield being a “short” quarterback. Yes, he’s shorter than your traditional QB, but I say who cares? Most quarterbacks with Mayfield’s height have not turned out to be good NFL quarterbacks, but that doesn’t mean Mayfield won’t be. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are both shorter quarterbacks, and they do more than fine. The reason why most shorter quarterbacks haven’t done well in the NFL is because they happen to be less talented also.
Mayfield has more concerns other than the height, but I think the positives about Mayfield significantly outweigh those. Perhaps the number one reason why I like Mayfield over any quarterback in this draft, is because of his accuracy. Mayfield completed 68.5% of his passes throughout his college career, with his last two years being over 70%.
Yesterday there seemed to be two other quarterbacks in play to be drafted number one overall, Josh Allen and Sam Darnold. According to today’s reports, the Browns have narrowed it down to Allen and Mayfield, but we’ll keep Darnold in this conversation to see why the Browns may have eliminated him. Josh Allen and Sam Darnold have career completion percentages of and 56.2% 64.9%, both significantly less than Mayfield’s.
Josh Allen is liked by NFL teams because of his big stature and powerful arm, but the 56.2 completion percentage just doesn’t cut it for me. If you can’t complete passes in the NFL, how are you going to move the ball? How are you going to come up big on third downs or in the red zone when your team needs you most? If I’m the Cleveland Browns, there’s no way I’m drafting Josh Allen first overall.
Then there’s Sam Darnold, the quarterback who threw 22 interceptions and fumbled 21 times (Lost 14) in just 27 games at USC. That’s not going to cut it for me either, and this is probably the reason why the Browns took him out of the conversation for the number one pick. You don’t win games in the NFL by giving the ball to the other team. You don’t.
To quickly compare Josh Allen’s turnovers, he threw 21 interceptions in his two seasons as a starter. He also had 13 fumbles (Lost 7) in those two years. Baker Mayfield fumbled 22 times in college (Lost 5), but that was over a four year period, not two. Mayfield threw 21 interceptions in college, one less than Darnold and the same amount as Allen, which was also over a four year period compared to their two. Less turnovers over more years sounds like a win to me.
There are other reasons why Mayfield is the best quarterback in this draft. It’s not just because of his accuracy and lack of turnovers. You can find more reasons why I believe Mayfield is the best quarterback in my previous article, “Why Baker Mayfield is the Best Quarterback in the NFL Draft.”
I’m not the only one who believes this. One of my fellow Fourth Quarter Sports Writers, WC Peters, did a breakdown of the top four quarterbacks (Darnold, Rosen, Allen, and Mayfield) in the draft using criteria for drafting a quarterback created by Bill Parcells. Those criteria are:
- Be a three-year starter
- Be a senior in college
- Graduate from college
- Start 30 games
- Win 23 games
- Post a 2:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio
- Compete at least 60-percent of passes thrown
There was only one quarterback out of the four who checked all seven boxes. That quarterback was Baker Mayfield. Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, and Sam Darnold all checked three or less of those boxes. Darnold actually ranked the worst out of the four, checking two out of seven.
Teams love to look at potential of the players they draft, which is why the Browns were thinking about Sam Darnold and are still considering Josh Allen. I look at potential too, but I also look at the numbers. Numbers can tell you a lot. Mayfield’s numbers are by far the best. If you want to talk just potential, then Mayfield still has a strong case to be number one overall. He’s often been compared to Saints QB Drew Brees. They’re both on the shorter side, and their accuracy is one of their best attributes. Mayfield has Drew Brees potential in my opinion. He’s a great leader, he’s confident, accurate, and an all around winner.
You can’t ask for much more than Drew Brees potential when drafting a quarterback. I believe Baker Mayfield is the best quarterback in the draft and the Browns should too. Drafting Baker Mayfield first overall would give the Browns a big win in my book.