Charlie Riedel/Associated Press
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield praised Trevor Lawrence and the entire quarterback class ahead of the first round of the 2021 NFL draft on Thursday.
Appearing on Slow News Day with Kevin Clark of The Ringer, Mayfield gave his thoughts on the signal-callers entering the league via the 2021 draft (beginning at 2:10 mark):
Kevin Clark @bykevinclark
Slow News Day: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield on the draft process, when he knew he was going to Cleveland, the most special moment of last year’s emotional Cleveland season, his UFO sighting, his mustache and much, much more. Great guest, great episode. https://t.co/EUqAO7Uvqw
Overall, Mayfield referred to the class as an “extremely talented group” and compared it to the 2018 draft, in which he, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson all went in the first round.
It is likely that five quarterbacks will come off the board in the first round this year as well, with Clemson’s Lawrence, BYU’s Zach Wilson, Alabama’s Mac Jones, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Ohio State’s Justin Fields all looking like potential top-10 picks.
Mayfield especially honed in on Lawrence, calling him “very unique and very special.” The former No. 1 overall pick also alluded to the idea that Lawrence has known for quite some time that he is the likely top pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Like Mayfield, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2017, Lawrence enjoyed one of the all-time great collegiate careers by a quarterback.
The 6’5″ junior never won the Heisman, but he did finish as the runner-up last year. He brought Clemson to the College Football Playoff in each of his three seasons as the starter, reaching the national championship game twice and winning the national title as a freshman in 2019.
The Knoxville, Tennessee, native went 34-2 as a starter and completed 66.6 percent of his passes for 10,098 yards, 90 touchdowns and 17 interceptions while also rushing for 943 yards and 18 scores.
Lawrence figures to give the Jags the franchise quarterback they have long lacked and some hope for the future after going 1-15 last season.
If the five first-round quarterbacks in this year’s draft live up to their billing, it has a chance to be one of the greatest quarterback classes of all time.
Mayfield’s 2018 class is already building a strong legacy, as Jackson won the NFL MVP award with the Baltimore Ravens in 2019, Allen finished second in the MVP voting with the Buffalo Bills last season and Mayfield helped end the Browns’ 17-year playoff drought last season as well.