Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield for Rookie of the Year?
By Randy Gurzi
One NFL writer chose a potential Rookie of the Year for all 32 teams and picked quarterback Baker Mayfield as the player to watch on the Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns will be counting on several young players in 2018. Their roster has changed a lot this offseason, and now some players like rookie cornerback Denzel Ward are in line to start.
Others could see significant roles like offensive lineman Austin Corbett or running back Nick Chubb. One guy who the team seems like they won’t depend on at all this season is quarterback Baker Mayfield.
Chosen No. 1 overall out of Oklahoma, the Browns plan to sit him behind Tyrod Taylor and learn the NFL game. That may not last the whole season according to Dan Parzych of NFL Spin Zone, who thinks Mayfield is the best contender on the roster for the Rookie of the Year Award.
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"“Even though Hue Jackson claims Tyrod Taylor will begin the new season as the starter, a lot could change from now until the end of preseason.Having a rookie quarterback learn from the sidelines during their first season may be quite common in the NFL, but for a team like Cleveland with one win over the last two seasons, they have nothing to lose with playing Mayfield right away. And if that does happen, the Browns may even end up seeing Mayfield throw his name into the Rookie of the Year discussion, especially with his competitive mindset.” — Parzych, NFL Spin Zone"
One thing Parzych is right about is Mayfield’s competitive mindset. There’s nothing Mayfield doesn’t think he can’t do on the football field and he will give it all he has as soon as he sees the field.
The Browns however really don’t want that to happen this season. And it likely won’t.
Taylor offers them a viable starter and bringing on the rookie would likely mean the veteran is struggling. That’s pretty unlikely since Taylor is about as consistent a game manager as you will find anywhere. He won’t blow anyone away, but he will do his job and do it well.
Mayfield also won’t see the field due to injury. To avoid having to turn to him before they want to, Cleveland also picked up Drew Stanton in free agency. He enters the season as the No. 2 player, and will serve as the backup to Taylor should they need someone to step in.
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Basically all that means is Mayfield will not play until the Browns want him to. And that’s probably not going to be in 2018. However, if he did play, he probably would be a safe bet to win the award for the best rookie. It probably just won’t happen.