Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield: Two rookies on different paths
2018 NFL draft was a quarterback-heavy draft. With 5 teams selecting a quarterback in the first round of the draft, two were at the center with Cleveland Browns owning the top pick in the 2018 NFL draft. There were two quarterbacks who were at the forefront of all the talk in the nation. Sam Darnold has been in the news as the best quarterback of the draft and he showed it during the season with the USC Trojans. He had been the talk of the NFL draft for almost a year. He played the 2017 NCAA AF season being portrayed as the number one overall pick.
The NFL draft has proven to surprise the best of the analysts and fans alike. Most of the general managers have proven time and time again that they think differently than the tv analysts. This time it was Cleveland Browns and John Dorsey. He took over a team with no wins in the last season and had the number one overall pick. All the media and insiders were predicting them to take Sam Darnold in the month leading up to the draft. However, they ended up taking Baker Mayfield.
Baker Mayfield, the walk-on for two universities. Baker Mayfield the Heisman Trophy winner for the 2017 season. During the draft combine every one was doubting his character and his ability to throw with him being 6ft tall. Mayfield was selected to lift a team who had won just one game in the last two seasons of Pro Football and had been the laughing stock for their winless season in 2017.
Sam Darnold went to the New York Jets with the third overall pick. Now the draft drama is over and the season has started. Both the rookies have had different starts to the season. Sam Darnold has been the starting quarterback for the New York Jets whereas Baker Mayfield is sitting behind Tyrod Taylor who is an 8-year veteran and was traded from Buffalo Bills even before the start of the season.
This Thursday both the teams play in Cleveland. The story would have been so different if both the rookies were starting for their respective teams. Sam Darnold has started two games for the Jets and has been able to lead the team to a 1-1 record so far this season. He has proved why he was considered to be the top prospect in the 2018 Draft.
Darnold will get his chance to prove to the Cleveland Browns that they should have chosen him over Mayfield. However, Baker will have to wait for his chance to come to show the League that he can play with the big boys and can be better than any of the quarterbacks that were in the draft.
Both quarterbacks will be cornerstones for their respective franchises. Yet both have started on different paths, ones which will lead them to different destinations. The only thing that remains to be seen is who does the better job and turns around the fortunes of their teams to make them Super Bowl contenders in the near future.