Baker Mayfield quickly climbing QB rankings

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The difference of views of Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is night and day in a year. Between the 2019 and 2020 seasons, there were a lot of questions about whether Mayfield would be in Cleveland long-term. Some even wondered if Case Keenum was brought in to compete for the starting job.

Between the 2020 and 2021 seasons, the questions are far different. Now questions surround how big of a contract extension will Mayfield sign with the Browns, will he be worth that amount and just how far can he take this talented bunch.

All that after Cleveland had a very good season with Andrew Berry and Kevin Stefanski running things, along with Paul DePodesta continuing in his role.

As we wind down to the start of training camp, we get to finish off reviewing some of the many lists made surrounding the Browns and the NFL in general. Our colleagues at Touchdown Wire have done a great job of breaking down their lists of top players at each position and culminated with the quarterback position.

Here, we find Mayfield on the outside looking in of the top ten, sitting in the eleventh spot:

That put Mayfield in advantageous situations, and the result was the kind of season Browns fans were hoping for when the organization drafted him first-overall in the 2018 NFL draft. Mayfield completed 62.8% of his passes for 3,563 yards and 26 touchdowns against just eight interceptions, and the Browns won a playoff game for the first time in over 20 years.

Schofield does a great job of using film to back up what he liked about Mayfield’s season. (Make sure you check out the piece for that and more on the top QBs in the league.)

Last year, Schofield didn’t have Mayfield among the top eleven quarterbacks nor had him even in honorable mention. Instead, the Browns quarterback did make the list of QBs with the most to prove.

Browns Wire reached out to Schofield to give more thoughts on what Mayfield could do better to continue his climb up the list, he was more than willing to share:

The first thing is consistency. Baker was very good last year, but I want to see him duplicate and/or improve upon that performance before sliding him up a list like this.

The other thing is how he handles “adjusting to the adjustments.” Now teams have a year of film on him in Kevin Stefanski’s offense, and Stefanski’s offense itself, at least the Cleveland version. They’ll likely see new/different defensive looks. How well does he handle what defenses throw at him in 2021?

Finally, pocket management. Its always been a bit of a double-edged sword with him…

From “could he be replaced?” to “how much will his extension be?” in one offseason. From “not listed” to “#11” in the QB ranking in one offseason with room to continue to grow. Imagine what the conversation could be one year from now, in July of 2022.