Baker Mayfield is a pro quarterback now after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. But for anyone had any thoughts that being the top pick of the draft might soften some of Mayfield’s edges, it’s time to reexamine that theory.
One of Mayfield’s peers this year, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, had to wait 10 picks to hear his name called in the draft, and he wasn’t happy about that. He made headlines with his fiery speech afterward when he said, “there were nine mistakes made ahead of me, and I’m going to make sure they all know it was a mistake.”
Mayfield was asked about those comments this weekend as he attended the NFLPA’s Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles. His response is…well, just check it out.
“To each their own,” he said in a video interview with ESPN. “The fact that he can say there’s nine mistakes ahead of him, how’s he going to compare himself to a running back and linemen and defensive players that were picked in front of him? There’s no comparison. I think everybody ended up where they’re supposed to be. I mean, I get it. I get the competitive nature but you don’t want to be scripted like that.”
Clearly, there’s more than a bit of competition going on between these guys. And that’s not going to stop any time soon. Their names, along with Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and Lamar Jackson, will be tied to one another for the foreseeable future.
To be fair to Rosen, he did later clarify his remark somewhat during his introductory press conference with the Arizona Cardinals, saying, “I would actually say that I’m not as angry that there were nine guys ahead of me, just three quarterbacks.”
The irony here is that it’s hard to imagine Mayfield NOT saying pretty much the exact same thing Rosen said if he had been the one to drop to No. 10. There aren’t many players who’ve carried a bigger chip on their shoulders compared to the one Mayfield has sported since early in his college career as a walk-on.
This comment, and many others like it, are a big reason why Mayfield was such a polarizing prospect — top decision makers either loved him or couldn’t stand him. We’re betting that overall perspective doesn’t change any time soon.