Joe Thomas: Browns Made Right Choice Drafting Baker Mayfield over Sam Darnold

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2018

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, left, talks with New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold before an NFL football game between the Browns and the Jets, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

Cleveland Browns legend Joe Thomas said it's clear the franchise made the right decision to select Baker Mayfield over fellow quarterback Sam Darnold with the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

On Wednesday, TMZ Sports provided comments from the 10-time Pro Bowl selection, who believes the New York Jets signal-caller, who was drafted third overall, is overrated based on his success back in Week 1.

"They absolutely did [make the right choice on Mayfield]," Thomas said. "I think for Sam, if he wouldn't had that really good game on national TV against the Lions early on in the season, people would be talking about him being a bust, because he really hasn't played well since then."

Meanwhile, the longtime Browns offensive tackle thinks Cleveland, which owns a 3-6-1 record, could run the table if Mayfield plays like he did in the team's 28-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday that snapped the team's four-game losing streak.

"If he can continue to play like that, there's no game on this schedule the Browns can't win," Thomas told TMZ.

The Oklahoma product completed 17 of 20 throws for 216 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions to lead the Browns at home. His 151.3 passer rating for the contest was nearly 47 points higher than any of his other seven appearances as a rookie (104.4 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7).

While it's too early to say whether he's definitively the better choice than Darnold, he certainly holds the early edge over his Jets counterpart.

Mayfield ranks 26th in ESPN's Total QBR and 16th in Pro Football Focus' grading, while Darnold sits 32nd and 35th, respectively. Darnold strained his foot against Miami on Nov. 4, and his status for the 3-7 Jets' next game against New England on Nov. 25 is uncertain.

The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner also led the Browns to a 21-17 victory over the Jets in Week 3, though neither QB accounted for a touchdown.