4. The Ravens face Baker Mayfield in 2021
An AFC North rival. Bring it on.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield set the rookie touchdown record (27) back in 2018, but ever since then, he hasn’t really been included in the “elite” quarterback conversation.
Other QBs from his draft class, including our very own MVP-caliber Jackson, have enjoyed more statistically successful seasons than Mayfield, but that doesn’t mean Mayfield won’t be a tough one to beat.
Mayfield is one of only two players in NFL history to have at least 11,000 passing yards, 75 passing touchdowns, and an 89 passer rating in their first three seasons.
He ranked fourth in most deep completions in the last two years, and at just 25-years-old, he’s just getting started as the Browns franchise signal-caller.
As one of the darker horses on this list, Mayfield has a projected lower “ceiling” than rivals Jackson or Allen, but looking at his actual game performances, he sizes up pretty well to Jackson in particular.
In the playoffs, Mayfield has completed 62 percent of his passes for 235.5 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception, averaging 6.6 yards per attempt.
Mayfield has been considered a “bubble” guy on the fringe of top-10 quarterback lists. Given his detailed statistical rankings compared to other starting QBs last year, his consistency and ability to adapt to different offenses (he’s had four offensive coordinators in three years) could give the Ravens a nagging migraine.
The Browns and Ravens showdown should be one of the most exciting team battles in the division. Last season, the Ravens eked by the Browns with a 47-42 late-game victory in their second meeting.
That game, Mayfield showed he could outperform Jackson, throwing for 343 yards and two touchdowns to nearly secure the win.
In 2021, Jackson will have a worthy QB opponent in Mayfield and should prepare wisely.