Cleveland Browns

Baker Mayfield vs Saquon Barkley: Rookie of the Year debate

 

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Baker Mayfield is up for two Rookie of the Year awards this week and unfortunately, he’s already lost one of them.

According to reports, the Cleveland Browns quarterback did not win the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year award that was voted on by the fans. That award is going to New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley.

The two are the front runners for the Associated Press Rookie of the Year award that will be awarded on Saturday night during the NFL Honors show.

Mayfield has already collected the Rookie of the Year award from Pro Football Talk and the Pro Football Writers of America as well as Offensive Rookie of the Year from Pro Football Focus.

There has been great debate over the last month as to who should win this award with Mayfield and Barkley the primary candidates.

Of course there was other fantastic rookies in what was a great draft class like Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay, Chargers safety Derwin James and even two other Browns in cornerback Denzel Ward and running back Nick Chubb.

However, Mayfield and Barkley stood out above the rest.

Mayfield threw an NFL rookie-record 27 touchdown passes and over 3,700 passing yards while leading the Browns to 7 wins after the team went 0-16 in 2017.

Barkley had a dominant season despite the Giants struggles with a 5-11 record. He rushed for over 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns while catching 91 passes for 721 yards and four touchdowns.

His 2,028 yards from scrimmage was only the third time in NFL history that a rookie achieved 2,000 yards or more from scrimmage, joining Eric Dickerson and Edgerinn James.

While Barkley was great and I wouldn’t take anything away from his season, I think the award should also be based on team success as well.

Mayfield led a team that went winless the previous season and didn’t look like it was going anywhere the first two and a half games of the year under the direction of Tyrod Taylor.

He also had to deal with the fact he had his head coach and offensive coordinator fighting behind the scenes for the first half of the season until they were both dismissed.

Through all that, he led the Browns to a fantastic second half of the season and has the franchise trending up while setting NFL and franchise records along the way.

With the way the league trends towards quarterbacks, you would think Mayfield has the edge in the award.

If Barkley wins, you can’t fault the voters to a degree but you also know that Mayfield will use that as fuel to add to his fire much like he’s done with the negative criticism towards him from the media.

And if that happens, the NFL better watch out for #6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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