Baker Mayfield has yet to win a game as an NFL starter, yet the comparisons to all-time greats continue to roll in for the Cleveland Browns quarterback.
A couple of weeks after future Hall of Famer Drew Brees said that Mayfield “can be a lot better than me,” Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale compared the Heisman winner to two quarterbacks already in the Hall of Fame.
Martindale’s defense is set to face the Browns’ offense this Sunday, and he sees greatness in the former Heisman Trophy winner.
“I already told the defense this, I think Baker Mayfield is this generation’s Brett Favre or John Elway, if you will,” Martindale said Thursday. “This guy knows where he wants to go with the ball, and he’s very accurate. He’s got a quick release, and he’s really playing well.”
Martindale has 30 years of experience on the defensive side of the ball and has coached in the NFL the last 15 years. He knows a thing or two about going up against great quarterbacks and likes the intangibles that Mayfield brings to a team.
The 55-year-old coach mentioned “the kid’s confidence and swag — if you will, nowadays, right?” in explaining why he compared Mayfield to two all-time greats.
“When he comes out there, he thinks he’s standing on top of the mountain,” Martindale said. “He’s making plays to show he’s standing on top of the mountain.”
The Favre comparisons are nothing new, and Favre even signed off on them in the days leading up to the 2018 draft.
The Elway comparison isn’t one that’s been said as often. Even though both were No. 1 overall picks, Elway, at 6 feet 3, had prototypical size for the position, while Mayfield is undersized at about 6 feet.
Favre even brought up Mayfield’s size in an interview and compared his stature to that of Brees to bring everything full circle.
"I think he can be great."
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“To criticize how tall he is, I don’t pay attention to that. I think Drew Brees has dispelled any of that talk,” Favre said on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
“(Former Green Bay GM and Hall of Famer) Ron Wolf said it best. He goes ‘You know, it’s amazing to me today how the most overlooked thing with the quarterback is the fact he’s a winner.’ And we were talking about Baker Mayfield and … he goes, ‘That guy is a winner. He’s been a walk-on … he transferred, people tried to write him off but yet he’s managed to persevere and he’s a winner,'” he said.
Mayfield may be a winner, but he’s yet to get a victory in the NFL. He lost his first start last week in Oakland despite putting 42 points on the board.
He’ll get another opportunity this Sunday vs. the Ravens, who have historically dominated rookie quarterbacks.
Since John Harbaugh took over as Ravens coach in 2008, Baltimore is 15-5 against rookie quarterbacks. Those rookies have combined to throw nine touchdowns compared to 26 interceptions against the Ravens.
That record doesn’t include Week 1 of this season, when rookie Josh Allen came off the bench in the Bills’ 47-3 loss to Baltimore.
Allen completed just 40 percent of his passes and was sacked three times as he played most of the second half. He didn’t throw any touchdowns but also didn’t throw any picks, unlike starter Nathan Peterman, who had two interceptions and just five completions.
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