Greatest moments in Cleveland Browns history: 4. Baker sets the record
Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, there was a lot of debate about which quarterback the Cleveland Browns should select. The general consensus seemed to be that USC’s Sam Darnold was the best choice, and even in the days leading up to the pick, most agreed this was the direction the Browns would go. Then the day of the draft, word leaked that Baker Mayfield was going to be the choice.
Still, it wasn’t until the pick was announced that we all felt certain about who would be groomed as the future face of the Browns. And while the idea was indeed to groom Baker, but he had other plans. Once inserted in the game in Week 3, Mayfield never looked back. He guided the Browns to seven wins just one year after they had none.
While the team success was great, Mayfield also had some phenomenal individual success. He won seven different NFL Rookie of the Week Awards and found himself in the mix to top the record for rookie touchdown passes of 26 as the year closed out — which was held by both Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson.
Needing just two to tie the record, and three to snap it in Week 17, Mayfield found himself facing the No. 2 ranked defense in the NFL as they played the Baltimore Ravens. Early in the game, Mayfield came within one as he hit receiver Breshad Perriman on a beautiful 28-yard touchdown pass. In the third, he found Jarvis Landry for a 48-yard score that tied the record.
However, Mayfield wasn’t good with just tying things up. Late in the fourth, while trying to mount a comeback, Mayfield connected with fellow rookie Antonio Callaway from a yard out and history was made. Shockingly, he didn’t win the Rookie of the Year Award, but he still put his name in the record books — and did so in just 13 starts.