INDIANAPOLIS (92.3 The Fan) – Holding the first pick in the NFL Draft, the Browns are searching for the best quarterback in the class in the hopes that they’ll finally be able to solve their nearly quarter century-long quest to find their franchise star.
Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield says look no further than me.
“First thing’s first, they’d get a winner,” Mayfield said about the possibility he could end up a Brown. “I think if anybody’s gonna turn that franchise around it’d be me.”
While many understandably scoff at what the Browns have become and their 1-31 record the last two seasons, Mayfield didn’t sound like someone who is ready to shy away from the challenge of resurrecting what was once a great franchise prior to 1999.
“They’re close, they’re very close,” Mayfield said. “They have the right pieces. I think they just need one guy at quarterback to make that difference.”
Call him confident or cocky if you want, it doesn’t matter to Mayfield who said he’s the best quarterback in the class, and the most accurate passer too.
“I can make any throw,” Mayfield said.
The Browns will get to see for themselves in person when Mayfield throws Saturday at the Combine.
“This is the biggest interview of my life,” Mayfield said. “Why would I not show exactly what I can do?”
Questions about Mayfield’s size remain. He measured in at 6’0 5/8 on Thursday. Some have compared him to Drew Brees and even Brett Farve but he plans to be his own man with lofty expectations.
“I’m not trying to be Brett Favre Jr., or the second coming of him,” Mayfield said. “I’m going to be myself and I’m going to be the best to ever play.”
While some are put off by Mayfield’s bravado, it could also benefit him tremendously as he goes through the interview process with the Browns, who were fooled four years ago by Johnny Manziel. Hearing all the right answers from prospects and being told exactly what they want to hear is not always a good thing and Manziel is cautionary tale numero uno.
Mayfield pulls no punches and tells you exactly what is on his mind.
“I think that’s the most important thing,” Mayfield said. “What you see is what you get. I’m brutally honest and some people don’t like that because it’s rare nowadays but I go into these meetings and I’m just myself. I want to get drafted to a team that knows exactly what they’re getting.”
Aside from size, Mayfield has a few other questions to answer including about a run-in with police, planting a flag at mid-field at Ohio Stadium following a win over the Buckeyes and making an obscene gesture during a win over Kansas. Those incidents call into question his maturity and with that his ability to provide leadership and the positive image the Browns are longing for someone to project – on and off of the field.
“Tell them the true story,” Mayfield said of how he responds to the questions. “When I got tackled by the cops in Arkansas I tell them the true story. When I talk about planting the flag against Ohio State I talk about the fact that that was an emotional win. That was one we worked for over a year for after they embarrassed us in our home stadium and when I talk about the Kansas thing it’s about me drawing a line and being professional.
“If I want to be a franchise guy there’s certain things I can’t do but I’m also going to still be competitive and passionate. That’s what’s gotten me to this point. I talk about it. I’m up front about it.”
Like it or not, at least he’s honest.