Bruce Arians unloaded the hottest Baker Mayfield take you’ve ever seen

Bruce Arians said that he graded Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield higher out of college than any of the prospects in the NFL Draft class.

The NFL Draft has come and gone, and the top quarterbacks found their new homes. Bryce Young was selected first-overall to the Carolina Panthers, C.J. Stroud picked second by the Houston Texans, Anthony Richardson selected fourth-overall by the Indianapolis Colts and Will Levis going to the Tennessee Titans 33rd overall. One team that didn’t go after a quarterback were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are moving forward without Tom Brady, who retired for the second time in as many years. The team signed former first-overall pick Baker Mayfield to compete with Kyle Trask for the starting quarterback job in 2023.

Bruce Arians, the former Buccaneers head coach and current senior advisor to the general manager, told Scott Reynolds of Pewter Report that he rated Mayfield coming out of Oklahoma in 2018 much higher than he did the top four quarterback prospects in this year’s NFL Draft.

“I can honestly say out of these four, I had Baker rated higher,” Arians told Reynolds on Monday. “That’s an honest opinion – coming out [of Oklahoma].”

Bruce Arians rated Baker Mayfield higher than 2023 NFL Draft QB prospects

And just like that, the Panthers fanbase has bulletin board material, especially if Young has a strong rookie season in the NFC South.

Arians continued, saying that Mayfield’s tenure with the Browns did not go as planned and it shouldn’t be held against him.

“That’s not chopped liver,” Arians said. “He had a tough time playing hurt and things didn’t work in Cleveland. That happens to a lot of guys. Timmy Couch was no bust. Timmy Couch got broken the hell up in Cleveland. I coached him. Helluva player.”

Mayfield did have a strong first year with the Browns, setting the rookie passing touchdown record with 27. In Mayfield’s third year, he helped lead the Browns to their first playoff berth since 2002 and their first playoff win since 1994. But in 2021, Mayfield played through a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, which hindered his play.

To start off last season, Mayfield was traded to the Panthers months after the Browns acquired Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans. Mayfield played seven games (six starts) for the Panthers, throwing for 1,313 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing 57.8-percent of his passes. He was waived late in the season, and was claimed quickly by the Los Angeles Rams. Mayfield shined in Sean McVay’s offense, recording 850 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and two interceptions on a 63.6 completion percentage.

Mayfield signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the Buccaneers.

Arians is obviously confident in Mayfield’s abilities. Now it will be a matter of if he can beat Trask through training camp. As for the NFC South, it is wide open, and it will be a matter of if Mayfield of the Buccaneers, Young of the Panthers, Derek Carr of the New Orleans Saints or Desmond Ridder of the Atlanta Falcons will lead their team to a divisional title.

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