McGinest on Browns: Baker Mayfield isn't a franchise quarterback right now


Baker Mayfield didn't produce a memorable performance on Sunday against the lowly Detroit Lions. He completed just 15 of 29 passes for 176 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions, and an ugly 53.2 completion percentage. Oddly enough, the Cleveland Browns still managed to squeak out a 13-10 win.

But a survive-and-advance mentality can't shroud Mayfield's disconcerting numbers or clearly defined weaknesses as a passer. And at this moment, former Browns linebacker and current NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest isn't convinced that the former first-overall pick resembles a true franchise quarterback.

"I think he could be, has the tools to be. If you ask me right now, I'd probably say no, because of the body of work," McGinest told The Zach Gelb Show on Tuesday. "I just think he needs a bigger sample size, and I need to see more consistency. And right now, this offense isn't going through Baker Mayfield. It's going through the running game.

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"They have success when they can run the ball successfully with Chubb, and when Hunt was there, and D'Ernest. When that's not effective, or they don't have that, the offense looks different. Have we seen Baker make some really, really good plays with his arm? Of course, absolutely. But, again, I need to see a bigger sample size."

Mayfield, who was limited all week with shoulder and leg injuries, heard boos multiple times from his home crowd during the second half. When the game ended, he took off his helmet and went straight to the locker room, passing on the opportunity to shake hands with players. Mayfield wasn't available for questions following the game, but he told reporters on Monday that he was frustrated and "played like s--t."

When asked about the booing from Browns fans, Mayfield said he didn't care. But he threw a subtle jab, arguing, "those are probably the fans that won't be quiet while we're on offense trying to operate." Through 11 games, the fourth-year starter has thrown for 2,166 yards with only 10 touchdowns and six picks, and his QBR of 37.2 (on a scale of 1-100) ranks 27th in the league.

Cleveland (6-5), which sits in last place in a tight AFC North race, will visit the rival Baltimore Ravens (7-3) in a marquee Week 12 matchup on Sunday night. According to FiveThirtyEight, the Browns currently have a 32-percent chance to reach the playoffs and just a 14-percent chance to win the division.

The entire NFL conversation between McGinest and Gelb can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow The Zach Gelb Show on Twitter @ZachGelb and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.