If you need a modern example of just how quickly fortunes and opinions can change in the NFL, the life cycle of a young quarterback might be the best place to start. At the forefront of that conversation is Baker Mayfield Kyler Murray.
As a testament to how pass-happy the league has become, front offices have selected QBs with the No. 1 pick in five of the last six seasons. Of the ones we’ve seen — think 2015 No. 1 pick Jameis Winston or 2016’s Jared Goff — they’ve all had one thing in common. It didn’t take them long to graduate from being viewed as an up-and-comer to having their worth questioned.
Today, the discussion shifts to the last two No. 1 pick QBs drafted that we have film on: Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. The two Oklahoma grads are similar in rèsumè, having won each of the last two Rookie of the Year awards. Murray, though, will be looking to elude the pitfalls that came with Mayfield’s sophomore year. Here’s how each performed in 2019-20:
Kyler Murray’s statistics: 349-of-542 (64.4%), 3,722 yards, 20 TDs and 12 INTs for an 87.4 passer rating. 93 carries, 544 yards, and 4 TDs. PFF ranked him as the No. 25 QB last season.
Baker Mayfield’s statistics: 317-of-534 (59.4%), 3,827 yards, 22 TDs and 21 INTs for a 78.8 passer rating. 28 carries, 141 yards, and 3 TDs. PFF ranked him as the No. 18 QB last season.
Next season, Murray will be hoping to make the customary “Year Two Pro Bowler” jump that we’ve seen from almost every budding QB in recent years. Mayfield will be hoping to guide the Browns to their first postseason appearance since 2002. But which is primed to have the better season? Let’s consider both sides.