Entering the 2021 NFL season, Baker Mayfield had an impressive ascension in his third year:
Baker Mayfield grade/rank by year:
🔸 2018 – 83.2 (11th)
🔸 2019 – 74.4 (17th)
🔸 2020 – 85.7 (8th)
Should the Browns extend Mayfield this offseason? pic.twitter.com/XLtg1iyuhc
— PFF (@PFF) March 4, 2021
During the 2021 offseason, everyone remembers having a lot of arguments about whether the Cleveland Browns should give him a big contract extension.
Well, it may seem like it was wise for Andrew Berry and the Browns organization to wait.
Without further ado, let us take a look at Mayfield’s 2021 Pro Football Focus grade:
- 2021 – 63.6 (30th in the NFL)
When there are 32 teams in your league, finishing 30th in any category is not a good sign.
Unfortunately, it was not a season to remember for the fourth-year starter.
So, where did it all go wrong for Mayfield this season?
What Did Mayfield Do Wrong This Season?
If you had said at the beginning of the season that Mayfield and Russell Wilson would finish with the same record, most Browns fans would have taken that.
However, that record turned out to be 6-8 as starters.
In addition, how did Mayfield perform in specific statistical categories?
- Completion percentage: 60.5 percent (27th)
- Touchdown percentage: 4.1 percent (17th)
- Interception percentage: 3.1 percent (28th)
- 7.2 yards per pass attempt (17th)
- 11.9 yards per completion (6th)
- 215 yards per game (22nd)
- Quarterback rating: 83.1 (27th)
- QBR: 35.3 (27th)
Mayfield was in the top 15 in just one category mentioned above.
His performance this season was nowhere near the expectations, as a lot went wrong.
What Did Mayfield Do Right This Season?
Mayfield came off a strong 2020 performance in which he got the Browns their much-anticipated playoff victory.
He and the Browns defeated Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers and then began 2021 with a 3-1 record.
In the first three games of 2021, the Browns scored at least 26 points.
Mayfield’s statistics in that span were the following:
- 59 completions and 80 attempts
- 73.8 completion percentage
- 780 passing yards
- 13 rushes for 48 yards
- 3 total touchdowns
- 2 interceptions
- 9 sacks
- 102.1 quarterback rating
There were six games in which Mayfield had multiple passing touchdowns in 2021.
However, he did not consistently play well enough to bring the Browns to the playoffs.
Although it was not a great season for Mayfield, he does have one impressive PFF grade:
Top 5 QBs in @PFF Grade from 22p on plays with 10-17s left on the play clock (min. 1 dropback):
1. Baker Mayfield (87.3)
2. Matt Ryan (74.1)
3. Derek Carr (73.8)
4. Tua Tagovailoa (72.8)
5. Kyler Murray (71.9)
Folks, did Baker fail the Browns or did the Browns fail Baker? https://t.co/9hhDofvsB9
— Conor "College Graduate" McAnalytics (@ConorMcQ5) January 7, 2022
Could it have been the 2021 receivers’ fault just as much as Mayfield’s this season?
Well, there is a valid argument that the offense had a lot of holes.
In addition, the health of the offense was inconsistent throughout the season.
Maybe the 2022 version of Mayfield — hopefully, a healthier one — and the Browns offense could have a great turnaround.
Mayfield’s 2021 Grade: C-
Mayfield will reportedly be back with the Browns in 2022.
He will have a lot to prove in his fifth season, and who knows what his NFL future will look like?
If Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady were in the A range and Dak Prescott was a B+ or B, then Mayfield deserves to be in the C range.
It was just not a strong season for the Browns quarterback, who had high expectations in 2021.
The players ranked Mayfield No. 71 on the 2021 NFL Top 100 list.
At No. 71, he was ranked the 10th-best quarterback.
We all know he was not the 10th-best quarterback in 2021.
So, what grade would you give Mayfield for his performance in 2021?
I’m not sure it was “wise” for them to not give him an extension. I think it should be wherever the league average is (if he would take that). But one could argue that contributed to his performance with constantly having to worry about being extended. Granted he probably would’ve still finished somewhere closer to 28th.
I think there’s plenty of blame to go around. Can’t put it on just any one guy. Excited to see a healthy Mayfield. Even more excited to see a receiving corps that doesn’t drop balls every game, week in and week out. Would be absolutely ecstatic to see all that combined with some better play-calling.
I think you’re spot on with the Grade you gave him at a C-. It’s fair
Adam Lowenstein says
Thank you for the comment, John!
It would be nice to see a healthy Baker Mayfield. Maybe a Ridley acquisition or some WR/TE moves can help!
30th best is not a C-. It’s an F.
Adam Lowenstein says
I understand where you’re coming from, Brownie. There is an argument to venture into D territory, but an F is a bit harsh. It’s not like Mayfield went 0-17.
Concerned Browns Fan says
Another attempt, of the Browns Nation staff, to make Baker look as good as possible. The following headline, was copied from the PFF website:
“Lee: Baker Mayfield is the obstacle the Cleveland Browns need to overcome”
People, don’t believe what Browns Nation is trying to do here. Go to the PFF website, and see how Baker ranks at the bottom of almost EVERY category. And in proper fashion, the good writers of Browns Nation, continue to point to the blame at everyone else.
Hue Jackson – Gone
Freddy (who Baker wanted ) – Gone
Now Baker has a problem with Stafanski??
OBJ – Gone, and seems to be doing well with the rams.
Jarvis and Njoku will be gone, and also flourish with their new teams as well.
Blinded by hypocrisy, and bigotry, are Baker’s supporters. As the number one overall pick, the dude is a BUST..
Adam Lowenstein says
Yes, that does make sense that he can be thought of as a bust. However, it seems like he will be brought back as the starter in 2022, so there’s some belief in him going forward.