Baker Mayfield embraces backup role: 'Being able to sit a year, I need to take advantage of that'

Baker Mayfield may have been the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, but he’s OK with being the No. 2 quarterback on the Cleveland Browns’ depth chart. He opened up on that and much more with former Browns players Joe Thomas and Andrew Hawkins in an in-depth interview with The Uninterrupted.

Mayfield is expected to back up Tyrod Taylor in 2018

The Browns traded for Taylor ahead of the NFL draft, and Taylor has continued to get first-team reps ahead of Mayfield in OTAs. Head coach Hue Jackson has reiterated that Taylor will be his starter going forward.

And Mayfield seems to be OK with that, telling Thomas and Hawkins the following:

Human nature, just by being a competitive football player, I want to play. But… the best year that I had to experience in college was when I transferred from [Texas] Tech to Oklahoma and I had to sit out. There was so much growth from my freshman year to when I actually played a snap at Oklahoma — was a completely different player…

It’s a matter of what you do with it. And so right now, how can I make myself the best player? And that’s learning from Tyrod and also Drew Stanton… For me, being able to sit a year, I need to take advantage of that. I’m not in control of when I’m gonna play — whenever that’s gonna be — I just need to be ready for it.

It’s a perfect response from the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and exactly what he should be saying. Mayfield played in a wide-open spread system in college, and while he has an impressive assortment of skills that made him this year’s top pick, there’s also plenty he has to learn and improve upon at the next level. Taylor and Stanton — two veterans who both have experience in different schemes and systems — will help, and Mayfield also mentioned he’ll try to learn from defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

See the other first round draft picks in 2018: 

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Every pick in the first round of the NFL Draft
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Baker Mayfield chosen as the Number 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Saquon Barkley of Penn State poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #2 overall by the New York Giants during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Sam Darnold poses for photos with a jersey as the third overall pick by the New York Jets during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: The Cleveland Browns pick Ohio St Cornerback Denzel Ward fourth overall during the first round of the NFL Draft on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Bradley Chubb poses for photos as the fifth overall pick by the Denver Broncos during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Quenton Nelson chosen as the sixth overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Josh Allen chosen as the seventh overall pick by the Buffalo Bills poses for photos during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Roquan Smith is chosen as the eighth overall pick by the Chicago Bears poses for photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Mike McGlinchey on the video board after being chosen by the San Francisco 49ers with the ninth overall pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Josh Rosen poses with a jersey after being chosen by the Arizona Cardinals with the tenth overall pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Minkah Fitzpatrick poses for photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Miami Dolphins with the eleventh overall pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Vita Vea poses for photos after being chosen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 12th overall pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Da'Ron Payne on the video board after being chosen by the Washington Redskins with the thirteenth pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Marcus Davenport takes a photo with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on stage after being chosen by the New Orleans Saints with the fourteenth pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Kolton Miller holds up a jersey and takes a photo after being chosen by the Oakland Raiders with the fifteenth pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Tremaine Edmunds holds up a jersey and takes a photo after being chosen by the Buffalo Bills with the 16th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: The Los Angeles Chargers select Florida State Defensive Back Derwin James seventeenth overall during the first round of the NFL Draft on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Jaire Alexander holds up a jersey and takes photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Green Bay Packers with the 18th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Leighton Vander Esch of Boise State poses after being picked #19 overall by the Dallas Cowboys during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Frank Ragnow on the video board after being chosen by the Detroit Lions with the 20th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Billy Price on the video board after being chosen by the Cincinnati Bedngals with the 21st pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Rashaan Evans holds a jersey and takes photos with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Tennessee Titans with the 22nd pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Isaiah Wynn on the video board after being chosen by the New England Patriots with the 23rd pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: D.J. Moore on the video board after being chosen by the Carolina Panthers with the 24th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Hayden Hurst on the video board after being chosen by the Baltimore Ravens with the 25th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Calvin Ridley of Alabama after he was picked #26 overall by the Atlanta Falcons during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Rashaad Penny of San Diego State after he was picked #27 overall by the Seattle Seahawks during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Terrell Edmunds of Virginia Tech (R) poses with Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier (L) and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (C) after being picked #28 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Taven Bryan holds up a jersey after being chosen by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 28th pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Mike Hughes of UCF after he was picked #30 overall by the Minnesota Vikings during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Sony Michel on the video board after being chosen by the New England Patriots with the 31st pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: Lamar Jackson holds up a jersey after being chosen by the Baltimore Ravens with the 32nd pick during the first round at the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Statium on April 26, 2018 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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Mayfield on Josh Gordon: ‘People aren’t built like him very often’

Gordon made some headlines on Tuesday when he proclaimed the Browns have “the best receiving corps in the league.”

It’s quite the statement from Gordon, although one can see where he’s coming from. Gordon seems to have turned his life around after his harrowing previous lifestyle. The league’s leading receiver in 2013, Gordon missed all of 2015 and 2016 before being reinstated in 2017. He hauled in 18 passes in an abbreviated five-game stint last year. He’s a game-changer on the outside alongside Corey Coleman, and on the inside, the Browns boast the shifty Jarvis Landry, traded from Miami this summer.

That all leads to a confident star wideout and one very happy rookie quarterback:

We got a lot of receivers who can play ball. Jarvis is a guy who, no, he doesn’t look like JG (Josh Gordon), but he has the mentality and the experience. He just carries himself the right way. He carries himself with ‘I’m a dog. It doesn’t matter how big you are, I’m gonna go out there and I’m gonna beat you.’

Then you look at JG. People aren’t built like him very often, just to be honest. You’ve got a 6-foot-4 guy, around 230 pounds and can run pretty fast. He’s very gifted.

Mayfield said the biggest thing the group is working on now is consistency — consistently being at the top of their game — and building chemistry.

Mayfield tries to model his game after Drew Brees

Mayfield’s favorite quarterback to watch and emulate is the similarly undersized Brees, Mayfield said he admires Brees’ accuracy, movement and command of the team. But when asked about the top five greatest quarterbacks of all time, he went with a different active quarterback: Tom Brady. Following Brady, he listed Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, childhood idol Brett Favre and no real consensus for his fifth spot.

Mayfield covered a wide variety of other topics, too, including his summer plans, his recreation of Favre’s iconic photo, his thoughts on Taylor and much more, during the interview, which can be found below.

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