Offensive rookie of the year: Baker Mayfield

Getty Images

He wakes up feeling dangerous, something no Browns team has been in years.

But now they are, thanks to the presence of and immediate impact created by PFT 2018 offensive rookie of the year Baker Mayfield.

Yes, there are other worthy contenders. Colts guard Quenton Nelson became the league’s offensive rookie of the month for October. Giants running back Saquon Barkley generated more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson took Baltimore’s offense back to the future and helped secure a playoff berth. Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay became the first undrafted offensive Pro Bowler, ever.

But only one rookie transformed a franchise. Only one rookie brought swagger to a team that had none of it, for decades. Only one rookie broke the rookie record for touchdown passes in a season, putting up 27 to the 26 from Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson. And that rookie didn’t even play until Week Three, when an injury to Tyrod Taylor opened the door for Mayfield to become the last name on that jersey of never-ending quarterbacks in Cleveland.

Mayfield, as MDS has pointed out, performed at an MVP level late in the year. He showed moxie, he flashed an edge. He had as much Drew Brees in his game as Jim McMahon.

Wherever Mayfield goes from here remains to be seen. MVP awards will be hard to win with Patrick Mahomes in the league. But Mayfield wants championships, and if the Browns hire the right coach, Mayfield could be pursuing one as soon as 2019.

93 responses to “Offensive rookie of the year: Baker Mayfield

  1. Well deserved! Clearly the best QB in the 2018 rookie class. With not even a close competition.

  2. Transformed a franchise? Lets not get a head of ourselves. I agree he looks like he can possible turn things around in Cleveland but the team didn’t make the playoffs so he hasn’t transformed anything.

  3. Dorsey made a bold pick taking Mayfield over Darnold and it’s paid off.

    The Browns will be the favorites to be the breakthrough team in 2019, even though that tag, just ask the 2017 Bucs or the 2018 Niners, is usually a jinx.

  4. Yes, Bucky – he transformed a franchise.

    If you can’t see that (last 32 games, 1-31; this year, 7-8-1), you’re not paying attention.

    No one laughed at the Browns this year. Been a long time since that could be said.

  5. Good QB. Just hope he learns to be a little bit more humble as the years go. And as long as the Browns build around him and don’t “Browns gonna Browns” him, this organization should see a nice turnaround.

  6. rkt4mayor says:
    January 2, 2019 at 1:02 pm
    Well deserved! Clearly the best QB in the 2018 rookie class. With not even a close competition.
    ——–
    Laughable comment.

    How about we hold judgement and give Allen and Darnold comparable offensive talent before that decision is made. I do feel Baker may be the best of the bunch but the others can be just as productive given a competitive offensive roster.

  7. Team finishes below 500.

    Only 1 win against a playoff team.

    Yet he transformed rhe franchise…

    Only in Cleveland! Oh, and Darnold played better over the last 4 games than Baker against better competiton with a worse supporting cast and coaching.

  8. I was completely wrong about him and was feeling pretty low after they drafted him.

    Next up is hiring a coach that upsets me at least as much ,so long as I’m proven wrong again.

  9. elvoid says:
    January 2, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Yes, Bucky – he transformed a franchise.

    If you can’t see that (last 32 games, 1-31; this year, 7-8-1), you’re not paying attention.

    No one laughed at the Browns this year. Been a long time since that could be said.
    —————–
    He certainly did … Browns will only get even better

  10. Baker deserves ROTY but let’s wait another year (or at least until he beats a good team) to proclaim how good he will be. RGIII had a better rookie year (Made the pro bowl and the playoffs, better TD:INT ratio) and he’s considered a bust now.

  11. Too erratic to last very long in the NFL. Needs a head coach to let him do as he pleases on the field or he will feel restricted and will lose his enthusiasm for the game. Boom or bust type player and will not be a consistent performer at this level thoughout the season to make regular playoff pushes. Other than than that, deserves the Rookie prize and will be fun to watch his 3 or 4 years in the league.

  12. Ravens fan here. I was bummed on draft day when the Browns took him instead of Darnold or Rosen because I knew he’d be the cream of the crop.

    Very well deserved honor.

  13. I guess 7 wins is worth of the Browns and Media acting like they are Superbowl Champions. Hopefully next season we raise the bar some cause all this over beating the Dalton/Greenless Bengals twice etc is a little lame if you ask most.

    Good to see all those other rookies who helped get their team to the playoffs.(Lamar).

  14. Like many others, I was wrong about Mayfield based on his performance this year. 7-8-1 is certainly a turnaround from 0-16, but let’s see how he and the team does against a tougher schedule next year. Barkley certainly deserves a shout out also based on his performance.

  15. Ok, cool the jets on “MVP” play the last stretch of the season. He had two games where he threw 3 picks in the last five games. His numbers were good, not great. We need to stop grading Cleveland on their own bell curve.

  16. 7-8-1 is certainly a turnaround from 0-16, but let’s see how he and the team does against a tougher schedule next year.
    ===================================================

    Browns were tied for 5th toughest schedule this year. Google it.

  17. Just think, they would be in the playoffs if Hue Jackson had been smart enough to start him from the beginning…Wait…check that. If Hue-Jac had been that smart he would still be the coach in Cleveland sooo…yeah, nevermind!

  18. fritz96 says:
    January 2, 2019 at 1:21 pm
    Baker deserves ROTY but let’s wait another year (or at least until he beats a good team) to proclaim how good he will be.

    —————–

    Nowhere in the article are they proclaiming how good he will be. Hard to wait another year for Rookie of the Year.

  19. Using the current season as a benchmark for SOS, the Browns’ SOS was 27th as of 12/21/18.

    Google that.

  20. Based on 2017 standings. Carolina, Cincinnati, and Atlanta were far worse this year.

    ————————-

    Browns were tied for 5th toughest schedule this year. Google it.

  21. It could be no one else. Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes were the stories of the year. It’s fantastic having new talents in the NFL!

  22. gjv001 says:
    January 2, 2019 at 1:30 pm
    Baker deserved the honor. However, the best QB in last years Draft is Josh Allen.
    ————
    My God man and I suppose you think LeVeon Bell is the Offensive player of the year too!

  23. fritz96 says:
    January 2, 2019 at 2:31 pm
    Based on 2017 standings. Carolina, Cincinnati, and Atlanta were far worse this year.

    ————————-

    Browns were tied for 5th toughest schedule this year. Google it.

    —————–
    The 2018 Browns didn’t play the 2017 versions of the teams that compiled their preseason SOS. The CURRENT year SOS placed the Browns squarely at 27th on December 21. There are too many offseason changes every year to justify a team’s current season SOS based on LAST year’s records. That is statistically irresponsible.

  24. I was not a Baker M fan. But U can say he hasn’t beat a good team, he is a punk. U can trash him. But stats R stats. He put life in the Cleveland FB team this year. No one has done that for years. He stared down his ex coach. He is a competitor. Like him or not, he was a good pick for Cleveland. They called Joe Namath names also. When he guaranteed to beat Colts, they laughed at him. Don’t sell this guy short. And he is not a tall QB, but has a lot of hart.

  25. fishyinalittledishy says:
    January 2, 2019 at 1:26 pm
    Too erratic to last very long in the NFL. Needs a head coach to let him do as he pleases on the field or he will feel restricted and will lose his enthusiasm for the game. Boom or bust type player and will not be a consistent performer at this level thoughout the season to make regular playoff pushes. Other than than that, deserves the Rookie prize and will be fun to watch his 3 or 4 years in the league.
    ————————–
    How exactly is he erratic? He’s not even a running QB and is an accurate thrower. Did you even watch the games? The NFL ones, not the college ones?

  26. rageviral says:
    January 2, 2019 at 2:40 pm
    Not impressed. He hasn’t done it for long enough.
    —————-
    How long exactly should a ROOKIE have to claim the Rookie of the Year award?

  27. Alphadog says:
    January 2, 2019 at 2:02 pm
    Which playloff team did he beat?
    ————
    The Ravens, 12 to 9, why?

  28. The Baker-Boys are back in Browns-Town! I think next year will unveil the good play of Allen in Buffalo and Darnold in New York. Rosen will take a little longer to develop because the Cardinals are an entirely bad team and too much to fix at one time. But Baker will continue to play at a high level because Dorsey will continue to draft at a high level. The Browns are becoming a solid team, top to bottom. Let’s just hope he finds a quality kicker who can boot the long ball. Maybe Joseph will improve his leg strength and aim.

  29. I don’t see what there is to not like about Baker Mayfield’s persona. He’s competitive, enthusiastic, intense with a side of humor and braggadocio. If you constructed the personality of a modern-day QB in a laboratory this is what you’d want.

  30. so Saquan generates 2k yards behind one of the worst offensive lines and you give ROY to a QB who’s team has had multiple first round picks for the past couple years?

    Put Darnold on that team and you have the same results. Maybe better.

  31. I love the way the Browns, Jets, and Bills seemed to have found “their guys” at QB. The NFL is going to get real exciting soon and I am here for it. We even get to see two of those guys battle it out twice a year!

    Note to Browns fans: Ignore the talk on his character, it may have been a disaster in NYC, but it’s a great fit for Cleveland. He reminds me so much of Broadway Joe where he just embodies what the city is all about.

  32. I don’t care much for the guy but it’s nice to see a QB picked #1 overall actually play up to it right out of the gate.

  33. BuckyBadger says:
    January 2, 2019 at 1:03 pm
    Transformed a franchise? Lets not get a head of ourselves. I agree he looks like he can possible turn things around in Cleveland but the team didn’t make the playoffs so he hasn’t transformed anything.

    ———

    The main reason they missed the playoffs was Hue Jackson not Baker.

  34. @themage78

    Giants fans cant go a day without injecting Saquon into a conversation or trashing Darnold and Mayfield. Great player, terrible pick based on value when you could of signed Lindsay as an UDFA. Darnold and Mayfield live in your heads rent free and probably will for the next 15 + years.. enjoy Dwayne Haskins though LOL.

  35. Dude seems legit. Darnold showed flashes. Allen really began to develop much faster than previously thought. Things look promising for these 3 although I need to see another year from each. Idk about you but the afc could use another decade of kelly, Marino and elway.

  36. As a ROOKIE, he had the Ravens (and their veteran coaching staff) scrambling, desperate to try to stop him. If not for some questionable calls and some holes on the Browns D that need to be plugged (including hiring a modern day defensive coordinator), he takes them out. His accuracy is unreal sometimes. His field vision and adjustments are near experienced veteran level already. The big questions for him are who the next HC will be and will he be able to reign himself in when his ego gets bigger and bigger. Hopefully he’ll take a page from Drew Brees who’s always been able to keep his ego in check enough to work with and help his teammates and not become the next Aaron Rodgers.

  37. He is deserving, but the presence of Chubb running the ball and a solid D certainly helped Mayfield in his rookie year. Njoku and Callaway will benefit with Mayfield being the QB.

    It is a team sport and will always be a team sport, but congrats Baker. You deserved to be in the conversation, and as much as l thought Barkley might win the award, you earned it.

  38. Saquon Barkley is a more impressive player than Baker Mayfield. Barkley might already be the best player at his position, you cant say that for Mayfield.

  39. Should be Barkley.

    QB is most valuable position, this has to be considered.

    Saquon was one of the best at his position.
    Baker was the best rookie qb, but nowhere close to one of the best at his position.

    Should be Saquon.

  40. sewalters79 says:
    January 2, 2019 at 2:20 pm
    I love all the Haters!!! means the Browns are back!!! Well deserved Baker
    ———-
    Funny, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the words “Browns” and “haters” in the same statement.

  41. Barkley only the 3rd rookie (Eric Dickerson, Edgerrin James) in NFL history to gain over 2,000 total yards.

    Barkley (91) broke the record set by Reggie Bush (88) for rookie running back receptions.

    Barkley tied Randy Moss record for 50+ yard touchdowns as a rookie with 5.

    Barkley had 9 plays of 40+ yards. The 4 other players who have done this are:
    1) Adrian Peterson in ’12 when Peterson won the NFL MVP.
    2) Chris Johnson in ’09 when Johnson broke the total yards from scrimmage record on his way to NFL offensive player of the year.
    3) Ladanian Tomlinson in ’06 when Tomlinson won the NFL MVP.
    4) Barry Sanders in ’97 when Sanders won the NFL MVP.

    Barkley was the #1 ranked rb in fantasy football ppr leagues this year.

  42. You guys realize that this is the pro football talk rookie of the year award and not the NFL rookie of the year award, right?

    It’s like winning an MTV movie award. It’s cool, but it ain’t the Oscar.

  43. Baker’s PFF’s offensive rookie of the year, but that’s about it. Willing to bet Saquon gets the real award, he played in all 16 games where Baker didn’t. Don’t get me wrong Baker was great but by not beating the Ravens the last game he probably loses it to Saquon.

  44. really?

    afraid i don’t see it;

    sure, he gave a spark to a laughingstock franchise, but how hard was that?

    the guard in Indy had a much more significant impact on his entire team by helping keep Luck alive the Colts couldn’t possibly have done the year before;

  45. Hooray for Baker!!!! Just love his talent, guts and bravado.
    Browns had a few games taken away by bad officiating and their kicker blew a few games. They had an unbelievable season.

  46. He definitely deserved the award. Now lets quit playing games and hire Greg Williams. The man walked into a terrible situation and turned around this team. Hire Williams NOW!

  47. Zeke was screwed in 2016 just like Barkley in 2018.

    The NFL rewards the QB position with too many awards when the players at other positions are more deserving.

    Baker was good but not at the same type of level that Saquon produced all year. Saquon might be the best player in the league…Baker might be the 10th best QB.

  48. sigbouncer says:
    January 2, 2019 at 5:24 pm
    Barkley only the 3rd rookie (Eric Dickerson, Edgerrin James) in NFL history to gain over 2,000 total yards.

    Barkley (91) broke the record set by Reggie Bush (88) for rookie running back receptions.

    Barkley tied Randy Moss record for 50+ yard touchdowns as a rookie with 5.

    Barkley had 9 plays of 40+ yards. The 4 other players who have done this are:
    1) Adrian Peterson in ’12 when Peterson won the NFL MVP.
    2) Chris Johnson in ’09 when Johnson broke the total yards from scrimmage record on his way to NFL offensive player of the year.
    3) Ladanian Tomlinson in ’06 when Tomlinson won the NFL MVP.
    4) Barry Sanders in ’97 when Sanders won the NFL MVP.

    Barkley was the #1 ranked rb in fantasy football ppr leagues this year.
    —————
    Those are ESPN stats/“records”. He was the 2nd guy to do this while doing that when doing these things. Give me a break. And then you bring up fantasy football??? They call it fantasy for a reason! What have sports come to when people start using these statistics as arguments?

  49. Its amazing how fast things can change. The Browns all Brown(sewn in numbers) jerseys are some of the best, now they have finally found a QB. If they can hire Mike Mc Carthy- next season is going to be the greatest.

  50. The Browns are obviously a better team with Baker at Qb. Huge improvement, anyone can see.

    With Barkley at RB, the giants still suck.

  51. billsbackto81 says:
    January 2, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    sewalters79 says:
    January 2, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    I love all the Haters!!! means the Browns are back!!! Well deserved Baker
    ———-
    Funny, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the words “Browns” and “haters” in the same statement.
    ———

    Well they exist now, apparently. In this discussion and EVERY Mayfield discussion.

    And you should see all the Buckeye fanatics that can’t get over the flag planting. Gimme a break!

    Keep the momentum going and show them even more, Bake!

  52. Why does anyone have to be humble? If you’re good at your job and you AND everybody else knows it, why act like you’re not. Off the top, Eli, Wilson, Dalton, only QBs I can think of who aren’t overly animated or have said something after or done something over the top during games. Now this guy needs to be humble because he backed up what he told everyone he was capable of doing? Nah, do what you want on the field, the fans love someone as passionate about the team as they are.

  53. I’d have gone Barkley only because he played the entire season and had success with a worse team around him. Also, because QBs get too much credit for team success. Still, Mayfield had a really good rookie year so congratulations to him. The AFC North is back to having three competitive teams again, which is nice.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!