Nick Chubb and Baker Mayfield share starting spots in the Cleveland Browns backfield, but there was a time where the two were rivals in the college ranks — Chubb with Georgia and Mayfield as a highly-touted Heisman winning QB with Oklahoma.
The now-teammates faced off in an all-time classic College Football Playoff game, which Chubb and Georgia pulled out 54-48 in double-overtime. A few months later, the Browns would take Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick and then add Chubb early in the second round with pick No. 35.
Chubb can still recall that game as the moment he found out Mayfield was something special.
“Even though I was on offense I heard our defense talking about him,” Chubb said while on the Tiki and Tierney show on Thursday. “He just makes plays and does things you’re not supposed to do. He’s a great quarterback and I’m glad I’m on the same team as him.”
Chubb and Mayfield Setup For Stellar Sophomore Seasons
The two rookies took the NFL by storm last year and are a large reason why many have the Browns pegged as Super Bowl contenders.
Former All-Pro Maurice Jones-Drew has Chubb among his top 10 running backs for the upcoming season, putting him at No. 9.
Chubb burst onto the scene last year with some big runs and strong performances, while averaging 84.2 rushing yards in his nine starts. He’ll get the bulk of the team’s carries through the first half of the season, with free-agent addition Kareem Hunt serving an eight-game suspension. Hunt, who had more than 1,200 scrimmage yards and 14 total touchdowns in 11 games last season, will have a role in this offense when he becomes eligible, but I expect Chubb to remain the RB1 (at least for this season).
But Mayfield’s greatest attribute might be his confidence, which Chubb noted.
“He’s a great leader,” Chubb said. “He’s very vocal. He brings the energy and the intensity and he makes us want to play for him. No matter the situation – in the game or in practice – he keeps his composure. He’s just a great guy to follow. He’s one of those guys that you love to play for and you’d hate to play against because of his attitude and how he acts. I’m on the same team as him. All the guys follow him.”
Odell Beckham Jr. made headlines at minicamp for saying how much zip Baker puts on the ball and that it was an entirely new experience for him. Chubb backed that up, saying he has it even tougher because he catches the balls out of the backfield.
“It’s really fast,” Chubb said. “Coming from a running back, I’m not always that far away from him, so I feel all of it coming off his hands.”
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