Baker Mayfield's antics didn't deter the Cleveland Browns from selecting the Oklahoma Sooners' quarterback with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Mayfield's critics said he is too small. He was arrested in college. He staked a Sooners flag in the middle of the Ohio State University's football field. He taunted opponents with lewd behavior.
But none of that mattered for the Browns.
“It is a fresh start for me," Mayfield said. "It is kind of the same thing, I have not done anything yet. It is a blank slate. Right now, I am not going to get complacent. I am getting a fresh start in Cleveland, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.”
The Heisman Trophy winner and four-year starter said he is looking forward to the journey of becoming a professional quarterback for the Browns.
"I want to stay there for a long time. I am hoping that I can help be the start of something new for Cleveland, we can turn it around," Mayfield says.
“Hey — let me ask you a question … you want to be the first pick in the draft?” pic.twitter.com/Ll6z5UiVej— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 27, 2018
The Browns acquired quarterback Tyrod Taylor during the offseason, bringing a veteran presence into the locker room. Mayfield previously said he does not want to sit when turning professional and wants to make an immediate impact as a starter, but he understands the situation the Browns are in.
"That is a veteran that has been in the league, a guy that I can sit behind and learn from." Mayfield added, "Tyrod and I, we are going to put an end to that list of the QB names on the back of the jersey.”
So far, the relationship between Mayfield and Cleveland Browns General Manager John Dorsey seems to have gotten off to the right start, especially regarding Mayfield's 2017 off-field arrest.
He said, "He has been upfront and honest talking to me about my mistakes, and I have been upfront and honest about what I have learned from it and the fact that it shouldn’t have happened."
Critics have also compared him to another quarterback previously selected by the Cleveland Browns; Johnny Manziel.
"For me, I am here right now because I have been myself. Johnny and I are two completely different people. That is nothing against him, but what I have been able to do is be able to be up front and honest about who I am during these meetings," Mayfield says.
Mayfield threw for 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns last season in college. He is the fifth quarterback taken in the first round by the Browns in their expansion era.
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