There are plenty of similarities between Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
The former Oklahoma standouts both won the Heisman Trophy as quarterbacks and went on to become No. 1 overall picks. Both carry explosive skill sets and are looking to lead their franchises — Murray with the Cardinals and Mayfield with the Browns — back to the playoffs after extended droughts.
However, that might be where the similarities end, at least according to Murray.
“We’re a little different. I would never do some of the stuff he’s done,” Murray said with a laugh while talking to reporters on Wednesday. “That’s my boy. He knows that. I just let him do those things and we just laugh at him.”
In terms of personality, Mayfield and Murray couldn’t be more different. Murray gives off a quiet and reserved disposition, while Mayfield makes his opinion known on most occasions — sometimes to a fault. His most recent clash was with team’s medical staff, which he later apologized for.
While there are similarities, Mayfield thinks he has a different game than Murray on the gridiron.
“I think our games are different,” Mayfield told reporters. “Just his arm talent alone is very special. The things he is able to do when he throws the ball, it comes out different. When you see it in person, you will understand what I am talking about. Obviously, his speed is next level. He is very quick and you try tackling him in a phone booth. He is a tough guy to defend.”
Murray’s rookie campaign has included 3,060 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He’s also added 448 yards on the ground.
Mayfield had a record-setting rookie season, but has had a a sub-par sophomore NFL campaign, completing just 59.2% of his passes for 3,109 yards, 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
Kyler Murray: I Learned ‘What Not to Do’ From Baker Mayfield
Murray — who backed up Mayfield at Oklahoma — also revealed what he learned while playing behind the Browns quarterback in Norman.
“I learned what not to do,” Murray said. “To the public, obviously he’s kind of a rebellious guy, but nah, he’s a great dude and I look forward to playing against him Sunday.”
Mayfield’s time as a Sooner was wildly successful, but it didn’t come without some drama. He was arrested and charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and fleeing, and also had some on-field antics that made headlines.
Mayfield had plenty of good things to say about Murray, but made it clear bragging rights are on the line against his old teammate.
“This is real bragging rights, being in the same quarterback room for a few years and just razzing each other back and forth,” Mayfield said. “It’s going to be a good one.”
Baker Mayfield Buries the Hatchet With Kliff Kingsbury
Mayfield will be reuniting with another familiar face from his college days in Cardinals first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who was previously at Texas Tech.
Mayfield left the Red Raiders for Oklahoma on bad terms over a scholarship spat and lack of communication with Kingsbury, but the two appear to have buried the hatchet over their issues.
“I think we’re in a good place,” Kingsbury said on a conference call Wednesday. “What happened happened and it was unfortunate. I obviously wish it would’ve been different and I could’ve handled things differently. But you move forward and I’ve been proud of his success, and what all he’s accomplished. It’s been phenomenal to watch, so it’s going to be fun to go out there with Kyler and compete against him. There’s a lot of strong relationships there and it will be a heck of a matchup.”
Kingsbury showered Mayfield with praise, saying he saw the talent that made his former QB a No. 1 overall pick early on.
“He’s a winner. Tremendous competitor,” Kingsbury said. “As far as the quarterback position, I just remember as soon as you installed anything, he could go out there and execute it at a high level the first time doing it and for a young player, a true freshman who walked on or wasn’t there all summer, I was really blown away by that. He continued to get better and better and they were coming and playing at a high level and you could tell he was going to have a great career.”
Mayfield — who is one for holding grudges — agreed that he and Kingsbury have grown and are in a better place now.
“We’ve both acknowledged that an 18-year old Baker wasn’t the all-knowing that he thought he was and just having a conversation goes a long way,” Mayfield told reporters.
He said his history with Kingsbury won’t be a source of motivation as the Browns look to keep their slim playoff hopes alive and move to to 7-7.
“It’s a long time ago,” said Mayfield. “We’ve talked since, played against him a few times since and so it’s exactly that. We’re in a good place. Obviously he’s trying to beat me this week, I’m trying to beat him. On top of that, and Kyler being involved, it makes for a fun one for us.
The Browns are 2.5-point road favorites against the Cardinals.