NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s pretty obvious Baker Mayfield is not a fan of general manager Dave Gettleman’s long-term plan for the Giants.
The Cleveland Browns’ star quarterback has ruffled a few feathers with his recent comments to GQ magazine about Big Blue and their selection of Daniel Jones in this year’s NFL Draft.
“I cannot believe the Giants took Daniel Jones,” Mayfield told the magazine, a dig at the former Duke quarterback, who went No. 6 overall when many draft experts had him pegged for later rounds. “Blows my mind.”
Mayfield’s contention is a college quarterback needs to have more than just impressive physical attributes to be worthy of a lofty position in the draft, let alone a spot on an NFL roster.
“Some people overthink it,” Mayfield said. “That’s where people go wrong. They forget you’ve gotta win. … Either you have a history of winning and being that guy for your team, or you don’t.”
Jones went 17-19 as a three-year starter at Duke, a program that won’t be confused with the NCAA’s elite any time soon, but has improved over the last 11 seasons under head coach David Cutcliffe. Prior to 2008, the Blue Devils had appeared in just three bowl games over the previous 48 years. Under Cutcliffe’s watch, Duke has played in a bowl games in six of the last seven years, winning the last three.
Jones went 30 of 41 for 423 yards and five touchdowns and two interceptions in Duke’s 56-27 win over Temple in last season’s Independence Bowl.
Gettleman took a lot of heat for selecting Jones where he did in the draft, but so far the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder has been nothing but impressive. He hit the ground running during offseason workouts and it carried over to the preseason. In two games he has complete a combined 16 of 19 passes for 228 yards and two TDs.
While Jones will almost certainly start the season as veteran Eli Manning’s backup, head coach Pat Shurmur said recently he is confident that when Jones eventually makes the transition to starter he will be fully prepared.
Manning, 38, is in the final year of his contract. Giants co-owner John Mara said recently in a perfect world Manning would stay healthy and perform well in 2019, keeping Jones in the understudy role for the entire season.
Mayfield, a former standout at Oklahoma and the Heisman Trophy winner in 2017, was the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft and took over as the starter for the Browns during a Week 3 win over the Jets. He went on to start the final 13 games of the season, and finished with 3,725 yards with 27 TD passes and 14 interceptions. Cleveland went 7-7 with Mayfield under center.
Mayfield is no stranger to sounding off on the Giants. In July, he took some veiled shots at Big Blue fans for their supposed poor treatment of star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who was traded to Cleveland in mid-March.
“(Beckham is) here (in Cleveland) to work, and he wants to be surrounded by people who love him and support him and allow him to be himself,” Mayfield told ESPN. “He’s here to play in front of fans who actually care, who will actually show up to every game and pack the stadium and love him for who he is.”