Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns, NFL

Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Entering the 2021 NFL season, these five quarterbacks have a lot to prove to themselves and their teams.

It’s no secret that the quarterback position is the most glorified and scrutinized job in the NFL. As the leader of the offense, and in some instances the entire team, the quarterback has all of the pressure on him to carry his squad to victory.

In today’s NFL, the quarterback position can make or break a team. A great quarterback catapults teams into Super Bowl contention, while a mediocre signal-caller could have teams either fighting for the final playoff spot or the No. 1 overall pick in the following year’s draft.

This offseason saw some big names at quarterback changing teams. Some needed a change of scenery, and some were sent away because of poor performance or broken relationships between them and team personnel. Nevertheless, the 2021 season is a proving ground for many signal-callers.

Entering this 2021 season, which NFL quarterbacks have the most to prove? These five passers need to have an outstanding season to prove the doubters wrong and establish themselves as one of the league’s elite passers.

5. Baker Mayfield

Despite being the quarterback of an 11-5 team that made it to the AFC Divisional round last year, Baker Mayfield hasn’t proven that he is the for-sure answer at quarterback. Since his sensational rookie season, he’s played up and down, being able to rely on and a powerful running game.

Last season, he put together his best statistical campaign, which gave the Cleveland Browns the confidence to exercise the fifth-year option on his contract.

Entering year four, now is the time for Baker to prove that he is an elite quarterback. He’s not today’s prototypical field general, one who is tall and mobile. Unfortunately, that puts him at a disadvantage because the moment he screws up, the Browns can find themselves a quarterback that meets today’s standards. Mayfield has the talent to be a franchise signal-caller, but it’s the consistency that is important.

That has been a weak point for him since he entered the league. Some weeks, he’ll blow you away with his zip, accuracy, and gritty attitude. Other weeks, you’ll wonder why he held onto the ball for so long or made a poor decision that led to a costly turnover. The inconsistency by Mayfield is what has him on this list, and he has to prove that he can consistently play well and win games for the Browns. Unfortunately, one good season doesn’t negate the struggles he had before.

For Baker Mayfield, he has all the talent around him to succeed. Now it is on him to control the offense, make smart decisions, and most importantly, be consistent. If he can do that, he’ll be representing the Browns under center for the foreseeable future.