For years Colin Cowherd has had the same line about Baker Mayfield: he had bad judgement in college, so he'll have bad judgement as a professional. He's long said Mayfield would be "fine" but not a franchise quarterback or an all-time great. After seeing the first game of Mayfield's third NFL season it looks like Cowherd was right all along.
We all remember the time Mayfield went on The Herd to confront Cowherd two years ago and gave us nearly 20 minutes of awkward TV greatness:
While it felt like Mayfield scored a big win by confronting Cowherd on his show, he hasn't actually proven his tormentor wrong. Cowherd didn't think Mayfield was worthy of being the No. 1 overall pick in 2018 and had many reasons for it. How many all-time NFL quarterbacks had a video of them being arrested and confronting police while in college? Or called out his own medical staff and teammates? Or had adversarial relationships with local media? You can't find any.
Now we're in the third season of the Mayfield Era in Cleveland and things haven't gotten better. After a terrible second season, the 25-year-old opened the 2020 campaign looking even worse than last year.
As he deftly guided the Browns to a 38-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Mayfield completed 21 of 39 passes for 189 yards, with one touchdown and an interception. He averaged a woeful 4.8 yards per attempt, while finishing the game with a passer rating of 65.0 and a QBR of 33.4.
Those numbers are far worse than his already bad averages from 2019. In his second season Mayfield led the much-hyped Browns to a 6-10 record, while completing 59.4 percent of his passes for 3,827 yards, with 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He was bad. Really bad. And now he looks worse.
It feels as if Mayfield has regressed from his rookie season when he was at least decent statistically. Now he appears completely lost and it looks like he's seeing opposing defensive looks for the first time. His calling card coming out of college was accuracy, but since he completed 63.8 percent of his passes as a rookie, those numbers have plummeted. He completed just 53.8 percent on Sunday.
Unlike draft classmate Sam Darnold who has nothing around him offensively, Mayfield has weapons. Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. are both really good receivers, while both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are legitimate No. 1 running backs. On top of that, the Browns handed $42 million to tight end Austin Hooper this offseason. A decent quarterback would be thriving with those weapons. Mayfield is failing.
Maybe it's time to admit that Cowherd was right about Mayfield from the jump.