The No. 1 and No. 2 draft picks, Baker Mayfield and Saquon Barkley, started off their National Football League careers with some nice highlights early in the Browns-Giants preseason game on Thursday night.
The first preseason game for the Cleveland Browns is winding to a close. It can also be taken as a challenge to Mayfield, humbling the first overall pick by making it clear he still has to earn the starting job and continue to earn it each day he plays in the league.
4 - The Browns gave up 4 rushing yards to Barkley after his opening run, proving that they could once again be of the league's premier run defenses this season.
Barkley is an extremely talented player, but that doesn't mean much without the proper execution. In two drives, Taylor went 5-of-5 for 99 yards, including a 36-yard TD down the seam to TE David Njoku (more on him shortly), for a ideal passer rating (158.3). It started with him throwing a attractive back shoulder pass to Rashard Higgins. On the first series of the fourth quarter, he hit fellow rookie Antonio Callaway on third and four for a 54-yard touchdown pass.
It was all so familiar for Sooners fans and novel for Clevelanders.
With the handoff from quarterback Eli Manning, Barkley took a few steps back before cutting up the right side of the field and breaking three tackles along the way. His line ended up at 11-of-20 for 212 yards and two scores. That's unlikely, as Hue Jackson and John Dorsey have up until now been steadfast in the support of the starter, Taylor, who couldn't have been more efficient in his own Browns debut.
It's only one preseason game, but there were plenty of reasons to be hopeful.