BEREA, Ohio -- A week after being drafted number one overall by the Cleveland Browns, quarterback Baker Mayfield went through his first NFL practice with his new team. It's been a busy week for the number one overall pick who flew to California to work out after spending the draft weekend in Cleveland. Mayfield says it feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders now that the draft process is over.
Mayfield will wear number 6 for the Browns and will be in a familiar situation when training camp begins in July, in a quarterback competition behind two other guys.
"It taught me patience," Mayfield said. "I want to play. There is no doubt about that but in whatever way I can make the team better and whatever way I can grow and learn from whatever is happening than I need to do that."
At the NFL Combine, Mayfield was asked about turning around a franchise like the Browns who have struggled since they returned to the league in 1999. He was quick to say if anyone is going to turn around a franchise like the Browns, it would be him. He was asked ahead of his first practice on Friday why he is still confident that is the case now that he has been drafted number one overall.
"It's a mentality that you are not going to take "no" for an answer. It doesn't matter what has happened in the past; it's about what you're going to do for it now, how are you working towards making this team better and so it starts in the locker room," Mayfield said.
He wasn't the only rookie getting all the attention on Friday in Berea, so was the hometown kid, Denzel Ward, from Nordonia who was drafted fourth overall last week by the Browns. He too has had an exciting week and is happy to finally have the draft process behind him and is ready to start playing football. He feels a bit at home with Gregg Williams as his defensive coordinator.
"He definitely seems like a very passionate coach so he reminds me a little bit like coach [Kerry] Coombs so I'm definitely excited to be working with him," said Ward.
The defensive back out of Ohio State is expected to be a starter on defense and his welcome into the NFL won't be a cake-walk; he'll face Antonio Brown of the Steelers, Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints and Terrelle Pryor of the New York Jets in his first three games in the league.
"It will definitely be a challenge," Ward said. "I'm definitely looking forward to it. I have to get prepared, get in the playbook and I'm ready to go to work though."
The Browns rookie mini camp will wrap up this weekend in Berea.