From one Browns quarterback to another, Baker Mayfield was all ears when he met Bernie Kosar a couple of nights ago at the team’s rookie dinner.
Mayfield, the former Oklahoma star and No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, said Cleveland’s former star signal-caller welcomed him to town with open arms and offered his support going forward.
“He had a lot of tips and bits of little advice, just about how it used to be and how much fun it was. When you win here, everybody rallies around it,” Mayfield said Saturday before the team's second rookie minicamp practice. “Just talking about how he will be around if I need to bounce things off of him.”
Mayfield, the first quarterback drafted by Cleveland at No. 1 since 1999, is the headliner of a nine-member class that also includes former Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward (No. 4), Nevada offensive lineman Austin Corbett (No. 33) and Georgia running back Nick Chubb (No. 35).
Mayfield, a former walk-on who has earned high marks for his leadership, competitive fire, toughness and uncanny accuracy, took the college football world by storm over the course of three seasons with the Sooners.
The Browns -- who have been searching for a franchise quarterback since Kosar, who played nine seasons with the Browns from 1985-93 -- believe the 23-year-old Mayfield can someday be that answer.
“It’s an exciting feeling right now. There’s a lot of buzz going around, which is great for the team. The one thing I keep hearing about is the loyalty of the fans, and I think about how they deserve a team that is winning, a team that they can rally behind,” Mayfield said.
“That's what they'll do no matter what. I got a chance last night to be at a dinner with some of the veterans and some of the alumni, and they talked about it, as well. This franchise is built on winning. They've been winning in the past, and some of those guys set the tone. Right now, we're trying to get back to that.”
Throughout it all, Mayfield said he’ll have Kosar in his corner.
“He’s a guy that I can lean on,” he said. “That’s something that makes you feel comfortable, make you feel at home, in a place like this where he’s wonderful.”