Column: Baker is bakin’ and feelin’ dangerous

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Column: Baker is bakin’ and feelin’ dangerous

Kyle Kelly, Sports Editor

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What exactly does one look for in an NFL quarterback? Well, at least a successful NFL QB.

I, for example, look for a quarterback with resilience, toughness, grit, leadership, accuracy, a great head on his shoulders, smarts, among many other traits. In the 2018 NFL Draft there was one quarterback that fit the mold for all of these qualities: Heisman Trophy winner, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.

As the Cleveland Browns sat at the top of the 2018 NFL Draft, there was one primenet need: quarterback. The Browns (to my liking) drafted Mayfield with the first overall pick, making him the future of the franchise.

Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko described the reason the Browns’ general manager John Dorsey drafted Mayfield: “His (Dorsey’s) thinking during the scouting process, it was Mayfield’s handling of adversity — specifically, walking on at Oklahoma and fighting long odds to win the starting job, and eventually, the Heisman — that most attracted the GM to the 6’1” quarterback.”

Mayfield has played in eight games for the Browns in 2018, posing a record of 3–5. In his NFL debut, Mayfield replaced an injured Tyrod Taylor in prime time and led the Browns to a 21–17 victory. In just eight games as the quarterback for the Orange and Brown, Mayfield has matched the Cleveland Browns’ win total over the previous 46 games before he took a snap in the regular season.

This past Sunday, Nov. 11, Mayfield had his best performance yet. He “one-upped” 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan of the 2016 Super Bowl Atlanta Falcons (representing the NFC), winning 28–16.

Mayfield started the game completing 12 straight passes, displaying his tremendous accuracy. He went on to throw for three touchdowns on 216 passing yards, the most touchdowns he has thrown in a game thus far through his career.

The Browns are now 3–6–1 heading into the bye week, with momentum to have a strong finish to the 2018 season. Most importantly, it appears the Browns have found their franchise quarterback.

“I woke up feeling dangerous,” said Mayfield in his post-game press conference on Nov. 11. Hopefully, Mayfield will wake up for the next eight games feeling just as dangerous as he did last Sunday.