The Cleveland Browns will waste little time getting No. 1 overall selection Baker Mayfield on the field in the preseason opener on Thursday night against the New York Giants.
The starting offense will reportedly play one or two series and then the Browns will turn things over to Mayfield, according to a Tweet from ESPN’s Dianna Russini:
Expect the Browns first team offense to play 1 to 2 series. This first preseason game against the Giants will be tons of Baker Mayfield. So get ready. Told the plan is to play him 2 quarters. #Browns— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) August 6, 2018
How long Mayfield is on the field at MetLife Stadium remains to be seen, but head coach Hue Jackson said that Mayfield will see “quite a bit” of action against the Giants, according to Mary Kay Cabot at cleveland.com:
Mayfield has reportedly looked impressive in training camp as he pushes Taylor for the starting job. The rookie especially seems to be developing a relationship with Rashard Higgins, a wide receiver selected in the 2016 NFL Draft who will apparently be given a third year with the Browns.
Jackson has said all the right things about giving Mayfield time to develop his game. But as Browns fans have seen during his two years in town, when it comes to quarterbacks Jackson is easily swayed.
It was around this time last summer, after all, that Jackson declared that the Browns would ride out the good and the bad with rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, only to go back on that statement once the season got underway.
A strong showing from Mayfield on Thursday will certainly get the fans into a frenzy over wanting to see more from the rookie, and it will help affirm for the front office that they made the right call on draft night.
Whether or not it plants thoughts in Jackson’s mind about deviating from the longterm plan, however, remains to be seen.