Cleveland's Baker Mayfield was the first overall selection in the draft. Shortly after the pick was made, Browns coach Hue Jackson proclaimed that trade acquisition Tyrod Taylor will be the Browns starter. I have heard that claim several times by clubs selecting a quarterback early in the past. It never holds true.
Yes, the Buffalo Bills made it to the Playoffs with Taylor at quarterback last season. But the Bills did that in spite of Taylor, not because of him. They tried to replace Taylor during the season because he is just too limited. Taylor doesn’t process quickly and struggles to throw the ball down field — and I don’t see that changing.
Jackson is under fire, but GM John Dorsey is new and very safe. Jackson, who went 0-16 last season and is 1-31 since 2016, is in an almost no-win situation. If Taylor plays, the Browns have to win, and if Mayfield is the quarterback, it will be all about his development. We saw with the Rams and Jared Goff two years ago, that if the proper coaching staff isn’t in place to develop a young quarterback, it can be a nightmare. Is Jackson the right coach for Mayfield?
Former Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley was brought in to run the offense and develop not only Mayfield but Taylor as well. It will be up to Haley and QB coach Ken Zampese to get Mayfield playing well early. Haley is a premier NFL coach, and I believe he will do exactly what he was brought in to do.
I feel that Mayfield is the best quarterback in this draft class. I also feel that, even though he is a rookie, he gives the Browns the best chance to improve. I have seen every snap that Taylor has had the last two seasons, and I don’t believe he can win in the NFL. The Browns staff will see that sooner rather than later. In college, Mayfield was on the big stage and performed well. I expect that to carry over to the NFL. He may not be the Week 1 starter, but Mayfield will start before the 2018 season is half over, and the Cleveland Browns will be better for it.