Baker Mayfield checks all the boxes in first NFL performance

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Baker Mayfield checks all the boxes in first NFL performance

- I was blown away by Baker Mayfield. Should I check that a little bit in preseason game number one?

- Nope, I'm not going to just because of utter command like I know it was the two's, but guess what? It's the first ever NFL game he played in, so emotionally to see him-- how secure he was-- to watch his accuracy-- to watch his footwork-- to watch his climb to-- watch him climb the pocket-- to watch him throw where his receivers were only going to catch it, and no one else was going to-- to watch him when he did run out of the pocket. There was no one around him to get hit, so I think he had a very clear idea of where safety was to make sure that he was going to be OK. Everything that I would scrutinize Baker Mayfield for, I can't, because he was great.

- You were planning on it?

- Well, I was going to allow it.

- You had your boxes, and you want to see if a guy checks the boxes.

- I wasn't looking to kill him, but he's the number one overall pick. We grade him different than all, however, many other players were drafted. He is different--

- Yes.

- Even as--

- We haven't mentioned--

- And he is.

- --Saquon Barkley one time--

- He is different.

- --today. Saquon was the number two overall pick, 39-yard run his very first carry-- we haven't mentioned him an hour and eight minutes into the show.

- For me, it was poise, composure, and a word you use, command. He's got command. We all recognize command, and saw it in Hard Knocks.

- It doesn't matter if you have played or not played, standing on the sidelines, the coaching staff, John Dorsey he's probably sitting up in the press box-- going he is commanding this offense, and here is the drive-- his 14 play drive that he led him on in his very first preseason game-- a 14 play drive. I can only think of a handful of 14 play drives, that I ever went on in my NFL career, that ended up like Baker's did last night in a touchdown to David Njoku-- ending in a touchdown, not a field goal. What happens on 11 and 12 play drives, watch this season. As the NFL season goes along, you'll start to realize once drives get over 10, 11, 12 plays, they often times end in field goal because guys get tired, guys lose focus, and decision making starts to unravel.

Baker Mayfield had the command, the composure, and the poise to continue them down on a 14 play drive. This dude is real, and his very first preseason game I don't care if it's a vanilla defense. I don't care if it's a vanilla offense, 14 plays is no small feat when you're dealing with guys in their very first preseason game with no game conditioning.

- Right.

- 14 plays-- you could see the guys physically huffing and puffing, and Baker was able to get them into the huddle, compose them, and have them execute at a high enough level. And by the way, threw a brilliant ball to the tight end in between three guys--

- You know--

- Baker Mayfield's legit.

- You could say Baker's going up against the twos. You also have to-- if you're going to put that on him, you also have to remind yourself he's playing with two's.

- Right.

- So he's making them better. That was, as you said, a 14 play drive was incredibly impressive. Don't you want your quarterback to elevate the play around him, which we thought Baker did. So I'll ask you this. If Hue Jackson stays out of his own damn way, and--

- He can't.

- You watch that pass down the sideline as the sideline erupted it was

a brilliant play.

- Yes, the one they had to go to review.

- Right, but you know, we know all these players watch-- they watch Mel Kiper, they watch Mike Mayock--

- Yeah, Todd McShay.

- They know-- they know it's a big moment when Baker Mayfield runs out on the field.

- Yeah.

- He's got everyone's attention.

- He knows that.

- Baker knows it, which is impressive as well.

- Baker knows that, yes.

- So if they do decide, which they should, that Baker should be the week-one starter, do you think Baker is good enough to get the Browns to an 8 and 8 or better record?

- How many wins did Jimmy G get the San Francisco 49ers last year?

- They went from 0 to 11 to 5 and 0 and once he came in the game.

- Baker Mayfield can do the exact same thing.

- You think he can get the Browns?

- Baker Mayfield can do the same thing.

- Nick, I love Baker, but I think you're wrong.

- Baker Mayfield brings a belief to the locker room. That's the difference with Baker and Tyrod. Everybody's seen the history of Tyrod Taylor. Everybody knows what he offers. He's going to keep the train on the tracks, and he's going to make some plays with his legs. But he's really got a ceiling that he imposes on himself, because he never ever cuts it loose.

And by the way, I don't think Baker's going to be the week-one starter, because Hue Jackson has a massive ego that we saw on display. And what happens when you have a massive ego? You think your thoughts are you. So when Hue has come out already, and he says Tyrod Taylor is my week-one starter, he has believed in Tyrod Taylor.

Like, that thought that he put out in the universe, Tyrone's our guy, that's Hugh. And so, he can't say Hue is wrong, because it's not just a thought that he had that you can just end the thought and started another thought. That's why a healthy ego is very important.

Egos are important. They're a driving factor, but Hue's got an unhealthy ego, which is why he cut Todd Haley off the other day when he should have been taking his advice.

- So I don't believe Hue puts in Tyrod Taylor. Another thing that will lead you to believe that-- Baker Mayfield rather-- that Baker's not going to be the starter. John Dorsey, two guys that he's drafted in the past that have sat longer than anybody-- and you've got to go back over a decade, Aaron Rodgers-- John Dorsey was the GM there-- drafted Aaron Rodgers, and he sat behind Brett Favre.

- Also Patrick Mahomes last year, general manager at Kansas City, he sat. So I don't know if it's all Hue's decision, but if I'm John Dorsey I'm looking at what Baker Mayfield did last night-- the composure, the poise--

- Yes.

- The accuracy, the accuracy was brilliant. That one dude, Antonio Callaway, that was a 50-plus-yard slant route touchdown. Not a whole lot of guys can throw that ball like Baker Mayfield did. It was right where it needed to be, with a defender hanging all over his back. It was an and one, it was a penalty-- the one that he roped up the sidelines that you were talking about, where the sidelines absolutely erupted.

He throws such a catchable ball. A lot of quarterbacks throw that ball, and it gets bobbled on the way out of bounds. Antonio Callaway, who had a couple of drops earlier, was able to catch that ball, because Baker throws such a nice receivable ball. There's something to it. Some quarterbacks, it's touch, it's accuracy, it's putting the ball where only his guy can get it. Baker's got all of it. He would be my guy starting today. If I'm in Cleveland, and I saw what he did--

- Give him the keys.