Baker Mayfield was taken with the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, and just two picks later at No. 3, the New York Jets took Sam Darnold, cementing the two (and the other three QBs taken in the first round that year) together for the rest of their of their careers.
Both have taken some heat over their first two-plus seasons in the league, but fast forward to the end of their third seasons, and Mayfield has a clear edge.
The Browns are not only fighting for a playoff spot this year, but the AFC North title, which could be decided in a huge Week 17 battle with the Pittsburgh Steelers if Cleveland beats the Jets this week and the Steelers fall to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Jets are celebrating just their first win of the season over the Los Angeles Rams last week, are 1-13, and could lost their head coach by the end of the season.
Although he hasn't watched much of Mayfield's play, the Browns wouldn't be where they're at without him.
"Baker's been playing great," Darnold said. "...Obviously they're winning games, so he must be doing a good job."
Mayfield had a tough year in 2019 but has since recovered from it. Darnold didn't have the greatest season last year either, but seemed to be given a pass after dealing with mono and missing a large number of games.
He didn't use it as an excuse though.
"Quarterbacks and coaches in this league are always judged on wins and losses, that's it," Darnold said. "And Baker is winning this year. We haven't won as much this year as we would like to, so we're going to continue to be judged on that — as we should be. We have a lot to do with how our team does in the game, so Baker's been doing a really good job this year.
"I think for me, there's some things I've got to continue to work on, but he's been doing a great job and they've been winning games."
Adam Gase was brought into the organization primarily to help develop Darnold, but that hasn't seemed to work out over the last two seasons. Though Darnold thinks there's a lot that goes into that situation, for him personally, he just needs to be better.
"I don't think I've played well enough, I think I can play a lot better," Darnold said. "...I've got to continue to strive to play better and that's really all I'm focused on."