Pro Football Focus released grades for all the first-round picks in 2018 and placed Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield at the top of the class
This offseason for the Cleveland Browns was one of the best in recent memory. General manager John Dorsey cleaned house and got himself some players he can trust to start winning games — and the positive reviews of his work followed.
While there were many moves made by Dorsey, the one that has gotten the most attention was the selection of Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
It was a move that many had strong feelings about given Mayfield’s over-the-top confidence and his smaller stature. He was unfairly compared to former draft bust Johnny Manziel but has quickly shown to be a better prospect.
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Mayfield has impressed fans with his play and is also getting love from a highly respected analytical site. Recently, Mark Chichester from Pro Football Focus (subscription required) graded all 32 first-round picks and Mayfield was far and away the top rookie as he’s earned a grade of 86.3 for his work in two preseason games.
"“Through two weeks of preseason action, his offensive grade of 86.3 is good for third among quarterbacks with at least 20 dropbacks and is more than 10.0 points higher from the next-closest quarterback from his class.” — Chichester, Pro Football Focus (subscription required)"
It’s easy to see why Mayfield is getting the praise he has thus far. He’s been careful with the football without being overly conservative. He’s also done a good job of working through his progressions and finding the right guy to throw to. In addition to this, he’s used his legs to scramble when the play breaks down but still looks for the throw while moving around — only running as a last resort.
In short, he’s looked like a player ready to see the field from day one. That’s proven by the statement from Chichester that Mayfield is third among all quarterbacks with at least 20 dropbacks, not just rookies.
Cleveland still plans to sit Mayfield as a rookie as Tyrod Taylor is the expected starter. Even so, the fans need to feel good about the future being in his hands.