Despite winning the Heisman trophy — which has never guaranteed a pick will pan out — concerns were raised about how his game would translate to the next level, and if it didn’t right away, would Mayfield be willing to put in the work to become a successful quarterback.
There were also the character issues stemming from an ugly late-night incident at a bar, as well as his animated antics on the field while at Oklahoma.
There were even comparisons floating around to former failed Browns first-round QB, Johnny Manziel.
Just a little over a year into his NFL career, Mayfield has firmly put all that talk to rest, and the second-year hurler is drawing praise from coaches and teammates alike about his work ethic and abilities as a leader.
“There are a lot of misnomers out there about Baker,” Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said at minicamp last week. “Baker works his tail off in everything that he does, and it is no different this year than it was last year.”
Kitchens also referenced in a radio interview with 92.3 The Fan that Mayfield’s college career was filled with evidence that he could be a leader.
Follow the Heavy Cleveland Browns page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
“Baker told you he was a leader by what he did at Oklahoma and it didn’t change here,” the first-year head coach said.
Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr. Build Connection
Mostly everyone but Colin Cowherd has admitted that Mayfield has potential to be among the top QBs in the league if he continues on his current trajectory.
Mayfield will have a new No. 1 target this season in Odell Beckham Jr., who the Browns brought over from the New York Giants in the offseason via blockbuster trade.
OBJ hasn’t had any problem going to bat for his new QB.
“I know that I’m always going to back him, right, wrong, indifferent,” Beckham said of Mayfield at minicamp.
Beckham added that the swagger Mayfield carries himself with — which some people were concerned about in the draft — is the reason that Baker is an impressive teammate.
“I think it’s the confidence he carries himself with,” Beckham said of why he enjoys having Baker as his QB. “You can’t coach that. You have to love that about him.”
“So for him to speak his mind, it’s always good for the leader of your team to kind of have that and everybody follow that lead,” Beckham continued. “I don’t see him really doing anything too wrong. He speaks his mind. Freedom of speech. You have your right to your own opinion. So that’s what he does and I personally love it.”
Over the span of Beckham’s first five years in the league, he’s caught 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in 59 games.
He should see those numbers have a nice increase if he can Mayfield can get on the same page this offseason, which they plan to do prior to training camp with some west coast workouts.