Quarterback Advantage: Ravens
When comparing these two, keep in mind that both of the following statements can be (and are) true:
Baker Mayfield was the right quarterback for the Cleveland Browns to take.
These two will have their careers linked together forever. Taken in the same draft at opposite ends of the first round, people will love to compare them. While some may say the Browns messed up drafting Mayfield over Jackson, that is a horrible take. Jackson was a serious boom or bust prospect, and if he didn’t land in an organization with flexible and experienced coaches, he would not have had the success he’s had.
The Browns would not have put Jackson in the best position to win, and he wouldn’t have had nearly as successful of a career as Mayfield has had to this point if the teams were switched. However, the Ravens still have the advantage here. Jackson was the main reason for their success last season. The Ravens built the perfect offense around him, and Jackson was able to show the NFL his true potential, and no opposing defense had an answer for him.
Jackson’s mobility is unmatched by any other quarterback in the NFL. Having an NFL MVP award at 23-years-old is absolutely nuts. His passing game took major strides in 2019 also, as he shut down many people’s take of “he can’t be an elite passer.” He still could use some improvement with his accuracy and throws into tighter windows, but if he never improves at that, he still is a great NFL quarterback. That’s the scary aspect of playing against Jackson: He just won an NFL MVP award and can still get even better.
When looking at the backups, the Browns win that area. Case Keenum right now is one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL, if not the best. He’s proven that he can step in and take a team deep in the playoffs if needed, especially in Kevin Stefanski’s offense. Garrett Gilbert is unproven in the NFL and hasn’t done much in his career, so we will leave him alone for this one. Keenum is a better quarterback than Robert Griffin III at this point in their careers. When it comes to comparing Gilbert and Trace McSorely, that just comes to preference.
Both of these starting quarterbacks are going to have long careers in the NFL. Five years from now, I wouldn’t be surprised if we were talking about Mayfield being better than Jackson. Mayfield has the potential to win an NFL MVP award like Jackson has. Both of these guys could end their careers as multiple NFL MVP award winners. However, right now, that’s not the case. Jackson and the Ravens’ quarterback room is currently significantly better than the Browns quarterback room.