2. Baker Mayfield, 2018
Things changed dramatically for the Browns when Baker Mayfield took over for an injured Tyrod Taylor. It was a Week 3 Thursday Night Football game and the Browns were trailing the New York Jets 14-0. Mayfield entered the game and the entire offense came to life.
He led them to a comeback win, which opened the locks on the Bud Light Victory fridges around Cleveland. Fans were elated as the No. 1 overall pick not only gave them free beer but he also led them to their first win in 635 days.
In that game, Mayfield was 17-of-23 for 201 yards as he led them to a 21-17 win. In addition to getting the win, he made some history as Mayfield was the first player to throw for more than 200-yards in his debut game while coming off the bench since Fran Tarkenton did it back in 1961.
From there, he continued to make history as he set the team record for the most passing yards in a season with 3,725. He also set the NFL record with 27 touchdown passes by a rookie which surpassed Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson who were tied with 26.
Most importantly, he was 6-7 as a starter which was a huge change for a team that had a 1-31 mark entering the season and was 0-2 in the two weeks prior to his appearance.
Mayfield might not have had as strong of a sophomore season as he would have preferred but there’s no denying he was fantastic as a rookie.