1. The “It” Factor
One thing Baker Mayfield has had long before he ever suited up in brown and orange was the “It” factor. He had it when he walked on at Oklahoma to win the starting job, win 3 straight Big 12 titles, reached the playoff twice, and won the Heisman trophy.
He had it when his NFL journey began on Thursday Night Football in a comeback win against the Jets. And he sure as hell has it now going into year four after being six points away from beating the then defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs in the 2020 AFC Divisional Round. He gets another shot in Week 1, and a chance to start his MVP candidacy against none other than Patrick Mahomes.
Mayfield’s “It” factor is different now than it was in college or as a rookie. He still has the swagger and charisma that made him a cherished player in Northeast Ohio draft day onward, but he’s also shown the growth and maturity that you need to stay in the NFL. Mayfield knew how important last year was, and that his job wasn’t safe for a second after slipping in 2019.
He’s still a vocal and loved leader in the team, but he’s also someone who has proven to himself and everyone else time and again that he can move the ball down the field and win football games. He knows that this is the opportunity he’s worked his whole life for, and now he has a chance to win at the highest level with a team that has been desperate for someone like him to come along. He’s already taken this team further than it’s ever gone this century, and he still wants more.
Whatever “It” is, Baker Mayfield has it, and it’s going to catapult the Cleveland Browns to the heights it deserves.