ARLINGTON, Texas-- The Cleveland Browns selected Baker Mayfield, quarterback out of Oklahoma, with the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Mayfield was a walk-on at Texas Tech in 2013 before transferring to Oklahoma and sitting out a season. He got back a year of NCAA eligibility in what’s now known as the “Baker Mayfield rule.” In 2015, he became the starter and finished fourth in Heisman voting.
"I think with Baker Mayfield, what we have is a guy who we talked about who wins the game of football, is-ultra competitive and is revered by his teammates and anybody who has ever been around him. This is a guy that has earned everything he has ever had from high school to college and now up here. He is a winner," said John Dorsey, Browns general manager.
The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner is extremely accurate. His completion rate topped 70 over the last two season. Last year, he threw for more than 4,600 yards and 43 touchdowns, leading the Sooners to the Big 12 Championship and the College Football Playoff.
While he’s won a lengthy list of awards, Mayfield is on the smaller side for first-round QBs at 6 foot 1 and 215 pounds.
There’s also concerns about his maturity. In February 2017, he was arrested on charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in Arkansas. He pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay fines.
But Dorsey wasn't worried about size or off-the-field incidents.
“First off, my faith says that every man may deserve a second chance. Have you ever been 19 before? Have you ever been 20 before? Young men do certain things, and you know what? They learn from that. They will learn from that. I like the guy. He is very mature. He is very smart. I bet you that we all learn from our mistakes," Dorsey said.
The Browns have selected 10 quarterbacks since returning to the league in 1999, including DeShone Kizer in 2017, Kessler in 2016, Johnny Manziel in 2014 and Brandon Weeden in 2012.