Baker Mayfield is the latest quarterback to show that being the first pick in the NFL draft doesn’t guarantee success.
He was traded to the Panthers after the Browns gave up on him and signed Deshaun Watson to a $230 million guaranteed contract despite his off-field issues.
Mayfield was so happy to get out of Cleveland that he even took a $3.5 million paycut to go to the Panthers, where he will battle Sam Darnold for the starting job.
Even if Mayfield puts his career back together, he no longer has a shot at winning the Super Bowl with the team that drafted him first.
If you don’t count Eli Manning, who technically was drafted by San Diego, the last No. 1 overall pick to win a Super Bowl for the team that drafted him was his older brother Peyton.
Mayfield was drafted in 2018 and Kyler Murray, Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence were drafted with the first pick the following three years.
Burrow is the only one of the four to make the Super Bowl, although it is too early to judge Lawrence because he didn’t have a chance to develop under the coaching of Urban Meyer. With quarterback whisperer Doug Pederson now the Jaguars head coach, Lawrence will likely have a better chance to live up to his billing.
The Mayfield-Darnold duel pits the first and third quarterbacks drafted in 2018. They are both trying to resurrect their careers. The Jets gave up on Darnold a year ago when they drafted Zach Wilson.
Mayfield and Darnold are proving that judging quarterbacks coming out of college is an inexact science. The third and fifth quarterbacks drafted on the first round that year, Josh Allen, who went seventh to Buffalo, and Lamar Jackson, who went 32nd to Baltimore, have proved to be better quarterbacks.
The fourth quarterback drafted on the first round that year, Josh Rosen, who went eighth to Arizona, was dumped after a year when they decided to take Murray. Rosen is currently with his fifth team in Atlanta.
Now Mayfield and Darnold both get a second chance. It remains to be seen if they make the best of it.