Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield 14th ranked quarterback according to PFF
Baker Mayfield has had a rough start to his sophomore campaign but Pro Football Focus still has the Cleveland Browns QB ranked 14th at his position halfway through the season
It’s not where they hoped he would be entering the season, but it’s much better than some expected. Baker Mayfield, the Cleveland Browns second-year quarterback, came in at 14th overall in a mid-season Power Ranking for all NFL quarterbacks from Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
Mayfield, who broke the NFL record for touchdown passes by a rookie in 2018, came into the season with incredibly high expectations due to his performance in the second half of his rookie campaign.
In addition to that, the team added wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. to a receiving corps that already including Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, and David Njoku. Unfortunately, the results haven’t been there for No. 6 as his team is now 2-5 and he’s thrown twice as many interceptions (12) as he has touchdowns (6).
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Even with that being the case, PFF has him at No. 14 which is ahead of players such as Lamar Jackson (No. 16), Jimmy Garoppolo (No. 17), and Colin Cowherd’s favorite quarterback Sam Darnold (No. 25).
So how did Mayfield get ahead of these players, and others? It’s because PFF decided eight weeks wasn’t enough, so they used last season as well in these rankings — and they’re still really high on what Baker did last year.
"“The 2019 season has been a disappointment for Mayfield, who has taken a step back from a performance standpoint while also having horrible interception luck that is making things feel much worse (12 interceptions, only nine turnover-worthy plays, including fumbles). Mayfield had an excellent rookie season, ranking eighth overall with an 84.5 grade, but this season has seen him look uncomfortable in the pocket while dropping from second to 18th in big-time throw percentage.” — PFF Analytical Team"
Mayfield still has time to turn things around this season and make good on the promise he showed as a rookie. He also has some winnable games on the schedule that can help as he looks to find his rhythm.
Unfortunately, the biggest thing holding him back has been some questionable playcalling out of head coach Freddie Kitchens. The rookie coach seems determined to dial-up slow-developing plays despite the team’s struggles on the offensive line and no one is suffering for that more than Mayfield.
Should Kitchens rediscover what he had in 2018, we could start to see Mayfield climb back toward the top-10 in these rankings, which is where most of us expected him to be following his explosion last year.