In adding what they hope will be a franchise quarterback, the Browns' surprise move led to a lot of reaction on social media:
James Palmer @JamesPalmerTV
Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield measured in a 6’0 5/8” at the 2018 Combine. Only one quarterback shorter than 6’1” has been selected in the first round of the last 15 drafts: Johnny Manziel (5’11 3/4” in 2014). But don’t compare them! I’m being serious about that. They’re not the same
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Mayfield watched his stock surge throughout his senior season with the Oklahoma Sooners.
Over 14 starts, including a Rose Bowl loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinals, Mayfield completed 70.5 percent of his passes for 4,627 yards, 43 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Pro Football Focus provided some more context behind Mayfield's exceptional campaign:
Stellar production aside, there were several knocks on Mayfield entering the predraft process, including his 6'1" frame, which has been considered less than ideal considering archetypal pocket passers tend to be taller.
"It angers me when people say that height actually matters because there are guys in the NFL that prove it day in and day out that it doesn't," Mayfield told the New York Post's Steve Serby. "If you can pick up and throw a ball, you can. And if you can win games, you can."
Mayfield was also circled as a potential character risk.
In February 2017, the 23-year-old was arrested on charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and fleeing. Nine months later, he drew the critics' ire when he grabbed his crotch and appeared to yell "f--k you" toward Kansas Jayhawks players during a 41-3 win.
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"Everyone wants to portray [me] as a bad boy, the Johnny Manziel stuff," Mayfield said, per NFL.com's Chase Goodbread. "I love the game of football. There's no doubt about that. I'm an emotional player. I'll do anything it takes to win. I love being around my teammates, leading and having responsibilities. It is what it is. If I paid too much attention to it, I'd be focusing on the wrong things."
According to Yahoo Sports' Jordan Schultz, Mayfield did his best to shed that stigma throughout the pre-draft process:
Jordan Schultz @Schultz_Report
Multiple executives have told me they have been very impressed with Baker Mayfield throughout the pre-draft process. They love the accuracy and winning components — but maybe more importantly, they like Baker Mayfield, the person. Bottom line: #Mayfield continues to help himself.
Mayfield's fiery disposition may have caused some hesitancy in scouting circles, but the Browns were comfortable enough with it to tab him as a foundational piece of their future.
And with Tyrod Taylor in the fold for a year to serve as a bridge, the pressure won't be on Mayfield to perform right away.
Rather, he can sit back and learn the ropes before the Browns hand him the reins full time as the franchise prepares to turn a corner.