There are certainly some comparisons that can be drawn between new Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and a former one, Johnny Manziel. That may seem like a comparison that Mayfield would want to distance himself from. But that’s not the primary concern of the No. 1 pick.
Mayfield isn’t focused on being the next Manziel, nor is he focused on not being the next Manziel. Instead, Mayfield is just focused on being himself.
“For me, moving forward, it is just being myself,” Mayfield said, per Mary Kay Cabot, Cleveland.com. “I am not going to go out and try to prove that I am not Johnny. I am going to be myself. To me, that is going to take care of the rest.”
In truth, the man who eventually becomes the franchise quarterback for Cleveland needs to have this attitude.
Certainly, there are traits of Manziel that Mayfield should avoid. But breaking the long line of futility that the Browns have experienced under center will be difficult enough. Doing so while fixating on what’s hurt past quarterbacks will be next to impossible.
Being himself is the only thing that Mayfield can do. Whether that will be enough remains to be seen. But the route that Mayfield is following is the only one that could be successful.