In his first NFL action, No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield gave Cleveland Browns fans reason to believe their quarterback woes may soon be over

  • First overall pick Baker Mayfield impressed in his NFL preseason debut for the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.
  • Mayfield completed 11 of 20 passes for 212 yards and two scores, and showed a pocket presence well beyond his years, including a few stunning throws under pressure.
  • While it’s too early to make any hard predictions about his future, Cleveland fans that have watched the Browns miss on quarterback picks year after year will undoubtedly be pleased with Mayfield’s first snaps.

Top overall pick Baker Mayfield got his first taste of NFL action on Thursday night as the Cleveland Browns made their preseason debut against the New York Giants. The 2017 Heisman winner showed that he might turn out to be the answer the Browns have been looking for at quarterback.

Mayfield took over for the Browns late in the first quarter after a two opening drives led by Tyrod Taylor. Working into the fourth quarter, Mayfield would complete 11 of 20 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, finishing the night with a 125.4 rating.

While his stat line was impressive on its own, what really got Browns fans excited for their quarterback of the future were a few specific plays that showed the fearless flair that Mayfield played with through college may translate to the NFL.

Mayfield showed poise in the pocket throughout the game, even as things collapsed around him, and was able to escape trouble on numerous occasions, even scrambling for an impressive first down in this second quarter possession.

His best play of the night came with the help of fellow 2018 draftee Antonio Callaway, who was clicking with Mayfield throughout the game.

Needing seven yards for a first down in the third quarter, Mayfield was flushed out of the pocket. He threw a ball to the sideline off his back leg that Callaway came back for and toe-tapped in to move the chains.

Callaway, who finished the game with three catches for 87 yards, would connect with Mayfield one more time, taking this quick route to the house after escaping his defender.

Mayfield downplayed his night after the game, saying “I’m aware that it was the first game, and in that respect, it’s not so bad.”

He also acknowledged that he’s still adjusting to the ins-and-outs of pro football.

“The whole routine was different for me,” Mayfield said. “It was the first time going on the road with a new team, first time in the NFL. Just some new things for me. I wouldn’t say it was anything nerve-racking, but a lot of firsts today that I’m glad I got under my belt so I can get more comfortable as I go down the road.”

It still might be some time before Mayfield sees regular season action for the Browns – Tyrod Taylor is a relatively proven starter, and himself completed five-of-five passes for 99 yards and a score for a perfect passer rating in his two drives leading the Browns on Thursday.

But Mayfield’s performance was undoubtedly a welcome relief for Browns fans that have watched their franchise miss on first round quarterbacks again and again and again. It’s just one game, but so far, Mayfield looks like he belongs.